In late April or early May, a federal appeals court hearing is expected to face arguments regarding a lawsuit challenging a 2012 law that could potentially close the only abortion clinic in Mississippi. However, with such strict abortion laws and a larger white population of 2-to-1, black women account for 72 percent of all abortions.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1,646 black abortions and 451 white abortions were performed in 2010. These abortions are defined as legally induced as performed by a licensed clinician (a physician, nurse-midwife, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant) that is intended to terminate an ongoing pregnancy.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the population of Mississippi for 2012, was 2,986,450 — whites comprised 59.9 percent, or 1,788,883 persons.  Blacks comprised 37.4 percent of the population, which equals 1,116,932 persons — totaling a 671,951-person difference in population. The rest can account for Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, and Asians.   

There is also a high rate of abortions among black teenagers; however, no study has been done do determine a direct cause. According to The Huffington Post, “poverty and a lack of attention given to teenagers at high risk for teen pregnancy could be potential causes for the high abortion rates among African-American teens,” said Rachel Jones, a senior research associate at the Guttmacher Institute.

However, there is still not enough information to correctly determine why there is such a disparity. Take a look at the chart below to see the abortion numbers and percentages for white and black women in Mississippi from 2000-2010.

  Mississippi Abortion Chart Abortion numbers and percentages for black and white women in Mississippi.