Abortion advocates in Missisippi are preparing for the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion decision from 1973.
NBC News reported on Wednesday that “members of the Mississippi Abortion Access Coalition were not optimistic that the Supreme Court will rule in their favor next year — instead, they were steeling themselves for more restrictions in a state where it is already difficult to get an abortion.”
The abortion rights group met for a rally in Jackson, Mississippi, near the only abortion clinic in the state.
Their fears about the future of legal abortion are well-founded. The case now before the Supreme Court, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, has a good chance of revising and even overturning Roe v. Wade. As reported by The Daily Wire, “If Mississippi is successful, and the law is upheld, it would directly go against precedent already set by the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, and it would also cut against Planned Parenthood v. Casey, decided in 1992.”
Pro-abortion advocates have already begun planning for what happens if the Supreme Court upholds Mississippi’s ban and overturns Roe.
“‘We’re not going to go underground,’ said Valencia Robinson, the executive director of Mississippi in Action, which advocates for people living with HIV and provides education about sexual health. She and others said they were already working to mobilize supporters who could assist with transportation to the Jackson clinic and help with the financial barriers that often impede abortion access,” NBC News wrote.
All of this comes after a 2018 Mississippi law was passed outlawing most abortions past 15 weeks of pregnancy. “As the law stands now, Roe v. Wade and the decisions that came after it hold that states have to allow a woman to be able to get an abortion up to the point of viability, or when the baby can survive on its own outside the womb. Most states hold this mark at around 20 to 24 weeks,” The Daily Wire reported on Wednesday.
If Roe is overturned, some states surrounding Mississippi, such as Louisiana, could also ban most abortions. In a segment on CNN, host Don Lemon was discussing this possibility with CNN’s legal expert Laura Coates. “I want to put up this map, Laura.” Lemon said. “If the court was to reverse Roe v. Wade, 26 states are certain, are likely to ban abortion almost immediately. Take Louisiana as an example. The nearest clinic for three in five women would be in Illinois. And for the rest of the women, it would be Kansas or North Carolina.”
These big implications for abortion have concerned activists about what will happen when the majority-conservative Supreme Court decides this case next summer. “It affects Louisiana,” activist Lakeesha Harris said to the crowd in Jackson on Wednesday. “It affects Texas. Oppression does not know the boundary of state lines.”