The Supreme Court on Friday decided the Mississippi abortion case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization — and overturned precedents Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey in the process. The 6-3 ruling returns the power to the states to decide whether to allow abortions. Experts say 26 states are likely to soon ban or heavily restrict abortion access.

There is no immediate or direct impact on access to abortions in Massachusetts, but providers and advocates worry that the domino effect of limited access elsewhere could send a flood of patients looking for abortions in Massachusetts — or, the ruling could be setting up precedent for the legality of abortions to be struck down altogether.

Anti-abortion activists see the decision as a win almost 50 years in the making. In Massachusetts, advocates against abortion are celebrating the Supreme Court’s ruling, but they will not consider the fight over as long as abortion remains legal in the state.

“The opinion 23 times talked about unborn human beings,” said Carrie Baker, a professor at Smith College who serves on the board of the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts. “And I fear that the next thing we're going to see is somebody challenging laws like ours here in Massachusetts and say that by allowing abortion, we are violating the constitutional rights of, quote unquote, unborn human beings and potentially strike down our laws.”

Patricia Stewart, executive director of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, said her organization plans to continue its education work and political advocacy to push Massachuestts to outlaw abortion.

“The work continues,” she said, “and it’s even more important now because we have the opportunity to do some effective legislative changes to protect women and their children, the unborn.”

Andrew Beckwith, president and general counsel for Massachusetts Family Institute, echoed that sentiment. “We have a very tall mountain to climb here in Massachusetts in order to make a pro-life culture be reinforced in the laws,” he said in a statement.

But reproductive rights advocates are clear: abortion remains legal in Massachusetts.

The right to abortion was codified in law when the State House passed the ROE Act in 2020, over the veto of Gov. Charlie Baker, which codified abortion access up to 24 weeks, established exceptions after 24 weeks and allowed anyone age 16 and up to get an abortion without consent from a parent or judge.

Gov. Baker immediately responded by passing what’s known as a “shield law” designed to protect abortion providers from out-of-state lawsuits. Some abortion bans in states like Texas allow private citizens to sue people who receive and provide abortions, worrrying some out-of-state providers that they will be sued.

Because of protections in the state, advocates say more people may soon travel to Massachusetts for abortion services.

“It could mean wait times at clinics are longer,” Carrie Baker said. “You know, certainly people here in Massachusetts are going to be spending a lot of time and energy to help people in other states — the abortion funds and potentially doctors.”

Abortion advocates say the Supreme Court’s decision will have a disproportionate impact on low-income people in states where abortion access is eliminated. People in rural areas, who don’t have the means to travel and who are often people of color, they say, will not have the means to travel for an abortion.

“The Court’s ruling will have an immediate and devastating impact on people seeking abortion care in nearly half of the country, taking from them a right that has been central to their ability to plan their lives, families, and careers,” Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, said in a statement. “And make no mistake: anti-abortion politicians won’t stop here.”

The nonprofit legal advocacy group vowed to continue the fight for abortion access in the courts, writing, “[t]he ACLU has fought for abortion rights since before Roe was decided, and will continue to work with local partners to challenge abortion bans where we can.”

Rebecca Hart Holder, the executive director of Reproductive Equity Now, said in a statement that people seeking abortions should know they are “loved and supported” in Massachusetts.

“We are angry, we are afraid, but we have been preparing for this day,” she said. “In moments of crisis, Massachusetts has always risen to the challenge, and we will do so again. Our Commonwealth can pave the path forward for abortion access and must do all we can to provide care to anyone who wants it. But we have work to do.”