On May 17, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will hear Mississippi’s appeal of an appellate court ruling that threw out the state’s law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
The case is the first time the Court will rule on the constitutionality of a pre-viability abortion ban since Roe v. Wade in 1973—and it’s seen as a test case for the Court to weaken or overturn Roe despite almost 50 years of precedent. The Center for Reproductive Rights and its partners successfully challenged the ban in federal district court and at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, with both ruling the law unconstitutional.
What would happen if the Supreme Court overturned or weakened Roe?
According to the Center’s “What if Roe fell?” interactive map of U.S. state and territory abortion laws and policies, 24 states would likely take action to prohibit abortion outright. Eleven states—including Mississippi—already have “trigger” bans in place that are intended to ban abortion.
“What if Roe fell?” examines several legal factors, including laws, constitutions, and court decisions on abortion. The tool categorizes 24 states as “hostile” to abortion since they’re extremely vulnerable to the revival of earlier abortion bans or the enactment of new ones. In addition, five states fall into the “not protected” category. Concern is warranted in those states because abortion is not protected under state law.