Nearly 230 GOP members of Congress call on Supreme Court to weaken or end Roe v Wade

·2-min read
Anti-abortion protesters in front of the Supreme Court (EPA)
Anti-abortion protesters in front of the Supreme Court (EPA)

Nearly 230 Republican members of the House and Senate are calling on the Supreme Court to weaken or entirely reverse Roe v. Wade, the court’s landmark abortion ruling that established a woman’s right to choose in the United States.

In a legal brief filed this week and first reported by CNN, 228 current members of the House and Senate Republican caucuses expressed their support for a 2018 Mississippi law banning abortion with no exceptions for rape or other reasons after 15 weeks of the fetus’ development.

They wrote in their brief that the court should uphold the state’s law or send the case back to the lower courts with “certain precedents” “wholly or partially overruled”.

“The Members of Congress respectfully submit that the Court uphold Mississippi’s law as effectuating important state interests, or, alternatively, return this case to the lower courts for consideration on a full evidentiary record, recognizing that certain precedents may be reconsidered and, where necessary, be wholly or partially overruled”, the members of Congress, including both House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, wrote.

In this filing as well as separate legal briefs to the court in support of Mississippi’s law, Republicans including Texas’s attorney general, Ken Paxton, urged the Court specifically to revisit the so-called “viability line”, or the standard established in Planned Parenthood v. Casey that specified the right to an abortion up until the point when a fetus becomes viable to survive outside of the mother’s uterus.

“No amount of scientific evidence or public outcry can move a judge bound by the viability line of Casey, an untenable standard that should be revisited”, wrote the 220-plus lawmakers in their filing this week.

The case is likely to be decided next spring. A lower court threw out the Mississippi law in late 2018, and the decision was upheld by a federal appeals court the next year.

The Supreme Court’s justices agreed to take up the case in May, while explaining at the time that they would limit their decision to the legality of abortion bans that take effect before fetal viability.

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