25 February 2020
More than 200 members of Congress told the Supreme Court that its landmark decisions on abortion, Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, should be “reconsidered and, if appropriate, overruled” in a brief they submitted to the court on 2 January.
According to Time, anti-abortion group Americans United for Life organized the amicus curiae brief in support of a restrictive Louisiana abortion law that is currently under a temporary stay and slated to be considered by the Supreme Court this Spring: June Medical Services LLC v. Gee. At issue is a 2014 Louisiana law, passed but never enacted, that requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Challengers of the law argue that its sole purpose is to make access to abortion more difficult.
The appeal came in an amicus brief in a Louisiana case, and was signed by 205 Republicans and two Democrats, and calls on the high court to revisit the ruling, which affirmed that access to safe abortion is a constitutional right.
It comes at a time when abortion rights in the US are increasingly under threat, and the issue is likely to become a point of fierce debate in the lead up to the 2020 US election.
Pro-choice advocates said the brief defies public opinion on reproductive rights. Sixty-one percent of adults said in a 2019 Pew research survey that abortion should be legal in the US in all or most cases, compared with 38% who said it should be illegal all or most of the time.
“Asking the Supreme Court to reconsider overturning Roe is an assault on our basic rights, plain and simple. Abortion is safe and legal, and we’re doing everything we can to keep it that way.” https://t.co/EPvi3Uognp
— Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri (@PPMO_Advocates) January 3, 2020
The sheer number of those signing the brief suggests the importance that Republicans place on restricting abortion rights and telegraphing to their core supporters that they are serious about doing so. The signers include the top three House Republicans — Representatives Kevin McCarthy of California, Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Liz Cheney of Wyoming — and the No. 2 Senate Republican, John Thune of South Dakota.
Democratic lawmakers have filed their own amicus brief calling for the Louisiana law to be struck down. Stephanie Schriock, the president of Emily’s List, a group that works to elect Democratic women who support abortion rights, assailed the Republican brief in a statement.
“Reproductive rights and the ability to make our own health care decisions are fundamental to the freedoms we have under the Constitution,” she said. “Unfortunately, this amicus brief proves that not only is the threat to those rights very real, but it is at a critical tipping point where the minority is ready to strip our freedom away against the majority’s wishes.”
I am sick and tired of these attempts by Republicans to restrict women’s access to reproductive health care, including abortion. Women have a fundamental right to make their own choices about their bodies, period. We will fight this. https://t.co/pV8130D2sT
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) January 4, 2020
Writing in the Guardian in November 2019, Jill Filipovic said: “But abortion rights supporters need to understand that the anti-abortion movement will not be content to simply overturn Roe. Nor will they be content with what they say is their goal – to let the states decide. They will campaign not just at a state level but at a federal one to outlaw abortion wholesale in the United States.”
Lawmakers ask SCOTUS to reconsider Roe v. Wade
GOP Onslaught On Abortion Aimed At Reversing Roe V. Wade | All In | MSNBC
Here Are The Details Of The Abortion Legislation In Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana And Elsewhere | TIME
Be sure to ‘like’ us on Facebook