Cervical cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed malignancy and the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women worldwide. MicroRNA-296 (miR-296) is aberrantly expressed in a variety of human cancer types. However, the expression levels, biological roles, and underlying molecular mechanisms of miR-296 in cervical cancer remain unclear. This study aimed to detect miR-296 expression in cervical cancer and evaluate its roles and underlying mechanisms in cervical cancer. This study demonstrated that miR-296 was significantly downregulated in cervical cancer tissues and cell lines. Restoring the expression of miR-296 inhibited the proliferation and invasion of cervical cancer cells. Moreover, miR-296 directly targeted the 3'-untranslated regions of specificity protein 1 (SP1) and decreased its endogenous expression at both the mRNA and protein levels. Similar to induced miR-296 expression, SP1 knockdown suppressed the proliferation and invasion of cervical cancer cells. Besides, resumption expression of SP1 rescued the tumor-suppressing roles of miR-296 in cervical cancer. These results indicated that miR-296 may act as a tumor suppressor in cervical cancer by directly targeting SP1. Therefore, SP1 may be developed as a therapeutic target for the treatment of patients with this malignancy.