On Thursday, 228 GOP lawmakers in Congress told the Supreme Court they believed the landmark Roe v. Wade decision should be overturned.
The lawmakers said the high court should overturn the decisions, which would release its “vice grip on abortion politics.”
The lawmakers filed the new brief this week in anticipation of a major abortion-related case involving the state of Mississippi that the Supreme Court is set to hear in its next term. It’s being viewed as the most significant case dealing with abortion in almost 50 years.
Some people believe the make-up of the current court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, could lead to the decision either being overturned completely or at least potentially gutted.
In their brief, the lawmakers wrote:
“Congress and the States have shown that they are ready and able to address the issue in ways that reflect Americans’ varying viewpoints and are grounded in the science of fetal development and maternal health.”
The court case that’s being heard by the Supreme Court deals with Mississippi’s state law that currently bans most abortions that happen after 15 weeks of the start of pregnancy.
The state law doesn’t provide any exceptions for incest or rape.
The Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments in the case sometime in the fall, and issue a final decision by June of 2022. That could be a big talking point as the 2022 midterm elections will follow only a few short months after that.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is one of the lawmakers who are fighting to support Mississippi’s state law. He and the other lawmakers are requesting that the law be allowed to go into effect in the state.
The group Americans United for Life is representing the group of lawmakers.
The brief asked the Supreme Court to “affirm the constitutional authority of the federal and state governments to safeguard the lives and health of their citizens, born and not yet born.”
When Roe v. Wade was decided, it legalized abortion across the country prior to what was considered viability. At that time, experts believed viability occurred roughly at 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Now, the GOP lawmakers say the Supreme Court should re-examine that viability line. They say it “binds the States in a one-sided constitutional tug-of-war in which they are subject to intense factual scrutiny on the abortion advocates’ issues but unable to establish the factual basis for their own vital interests.”
After Mississippi passed its new law, it was blocked by various lower courts. The case was brought before them by the Jackson’s Women Health Center, the only clinic that still remains in the state. Their argument was the state’s law was in direct violation of a precedent set by the Supreme Court.
In December 2019, a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled:
“In an unbroken line dating to Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court’s abortion cases have established (and affirmed and re-affirmed) a woman’s right to choose an abortion before viability. States may regulate abortion procedures prior to viability so long as they do not ban abbortions.”