Brigham Young University Prelaw Review


abortion rights, Mississippi Gestational Act, federal protection of abortion rights, state regulation of abortion rights


In 2018, the constitutionality of the Mississippi Gestational Act was called into question by the Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This act illegalized the majority of abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Given the constitutional right to abortion granted by Roe v. Wade and upheld by Planned Parenthood v. Casey, both the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit deemed the Act unconstitutional as a violation of that right. The State of Mississippi brought the case under the review of the United States Supreme Court in 2021, seeking a Court opinion that would support and uphold the Mississippi Gestational Act. On June 24, 2022, such an opinion was granted; the Supreme Court issued the Dobbs v. Jackson decision, which not only overturned the rulings of the lower Mississippi courts but overturned Roe itself, thereby removing the federal protection of abortion rights and returning the regulation of abortion to state legislatures.