Mississippi could test how soon state can restrict abortion

JACKSON, Miss. — For decades, the U.S. Supreme Court has been telling states that they can’t ban abortions before a fetus can survive outside the womb on its own.

But states continue to try to restrict abortion before viability. One of the most recent is Mississippi, where lawmakers are on the brink of approving a measure that would ban most abortions after 15 weeks.

House Bill 1510 passed the Mississippi Senate on Tuesday and is likely to become law. Legal experts say its passage is an invitation to the Supreme Court to revisit its previous rulings.

Supporters of abortion rights say they doubt the court would do so. But backers of the bill say they’re hopeful the court will clarify its stance and allow states to begin restricting abortion earlier in pregnancy.