Mississippi Abortion Laws

Created by FindLaw's team of attorney writers and editors.

Mississippi’s abortion laws are possibly the most restrictive in the United States. As of 2014, Mississippi has only one abortion clinic, and state hospitals have ignored requests to grant admitting privileges to physicians who have performed or may perform abortions (although this likely will change following a major Court decision, explained below).

Mississippi has extensive pre-abortion requirements. State statutes require notification of both parents prior to an abortion as well as a 24-hour waiting period before the procedure can be performed. During this waiting period, a woman must also certify that she has received counseling and a notification of services, as well as consent to mandatory fetal ultrasound and fetal heart tone procedures.

Mississippi Statutes

Additional details about Mississippi’s abortion statutes are listed in the table below.

Code Section

Mississippi Code 97-3-3, 5;

Mississippi Code 41-75-1, et. seq.;

Mississippi Code 41-41-31 to 41-41-73

Statutory Definition of Illegal Abortion

Willfully or knowingly by means of instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance causing any pregnant woman to abort or miscarry; Partial Birth Abortion: prohibited unless necessary to save mother's life if no other medical procedure would suffice

Statutory Definition of Legal Abortion

Necessary to preserve mother's life; pregnancy result of rape

Penalty for Unlawful Abortion

Felony: imprisonment 1 to 10 years; if mother dies, murder; if M.D. or nurse convicted, license will be revoked; misdemeanor: $25-200 and imprisonment up to 3 mos. if selling, giving away, possessing or in any manner anything causing unlawful abortion; Partial Birth Abortion: felony, up to $25,000 fine and/or 2 yrs. imprisonment

Consent Requirements

Written informed consent of the mother at least 24 hours before the abortion, except in emergency; unmarried woman under 18 must have written consent of both parents, with exceptions for medical emergency or judicial waiver

Residency Requirements for Patients


Physician Licensing Requirements

Licensed M.D.; prior advice of two licensed M.D.s required in writing

Decided in 1973, Roe v. Wade was a Supreme Court case that guaranteed women a Constitutional right to choose whether to end a pregnancy during the first trimester and abortion in the United States has technically been legal since then. That said, states are allowed to regulate certain aspects of their abortion laws, and some, like Mississippi, have done so heavily.

Supreme Court Decision: Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against abortion regulations in Texas (Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt) that required abortion doctors to have hospital admitting privileges and facilities to meet the standards of surgical centers. In the wake of the June 27, 2016 ruling, Mississippi's similar regulations are likely to be overruled as well.

Mississippi Abortion Laws: Related Resources

Decisions regarding abortion can have serious emotional and legal consequences. You can consult with a health care attorney in Mississippi if you would like legal assistance regarding an abortion matter. You can also find more resources and information on this topic by visiting FindLaw’s sections on Abortion, Birth Control, and Health Care Law.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.