As the Supreme Court prepares to hear the case of Medical Services LLC v. Gee—a grossly restrictive anti-abortion law in Louisiana—Republican lawmakers are urging the Court to consider overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court ruling which gave women the right to terminate a pregnancy.
Thirty-nine senators and 168 House members submitted an amicus brief urging the Court to side with an earlier ruling from the 5th Circuit, which found that the Louisiana law didn't put an undue burden on people seeking abortions by requiring doctors to have hospital admission rights at a hospital thirty or fewer miles away.
The law, which has yet to take effect in Louisiana, would force all of the state's abortion clinics to close.
Precedent states that any "undue burden" on a "large fraction of people" seeking to terminate a pregnancy is unconstitutional, but lawmakers argue that these terms aren't clearly defined.
Lawmakers said in the brief:
"Amici [lawmakers who signed the brief] respectfully suggest that the Fifth Circuit's struggle to define the appropriate 'large fraction' or determine what 'burden' on abortion access is 'undue' illustrates the unworkability of the 'right to abortion' found in Roe v. Wade ... and the need for the Court to again take up the issue of whether Roe and Casey should be reconsidered and, if appropriate, overruled."
The Court's decision will be an indicator of just how dedicated President Donald Trump's two Supreme Court Justices—Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh—will be to the President and his base.
Trump has previously called for abortion laws to be a state issue, instead of considered a constitutional right. He frequently repeats the falsehood that Democrats and abortion doctors are determined to rip babies from their mothers' wombs in the ninth month. During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump advocated for "some form of punishment" for women who have abortions.
As for the lawmakers who signed the brief, it's clear what their position is—and people aren't happy.
A MAJORITY of the country want to keep abortion safe & legal!! A minority of mostly old white clueless men cannot b… https://t.co/baWPiH0K0f— Cathy Fain (@Cathy Fain) 1578008936.0
It's always been about overturning RvsW. Not seating the supreme court appointment Obama was rightfully allowed to… https://t.co/3LBmF5OkIi— Michael Watts (@Michael Watts) 1578059916.0
Another example of desperate and shameless pandering to the supposed base that these relics think will help them ke… https://t.co/PCabVjHbVT— Shanlon Wu (@Shanlon Wu) 1578014442.0
The war on women's reproductive health wages on. Make no mistake, America. There will never be a true ban on abor… https://t.co/LECGe9ncL7— 🇺🇸 Danielle Ames 🇺🇸 (@🇺🇸 Danielle Ames 🇺🇸) 1578014512.0
At least two Democrats, Congressmen Collin Peterson (D-MI) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL) signed the briefing as well, angering their Democratic constituents.
Congressman Dan Lipinski signed on to a brief calling for the overturning of Roe v. Wade. His position in Congress… https://t.co/SiZnkUCzwT— Marie Newman (@Marie Newman) 1577993193.0
@collinpeterson You have lost my vote. I will leave my ballot blank before I ever back you again. If I wanted a Rep… https://t.co/r6EnkwaPBc— Amy Soma (@Amy Soma) 1578055975.0
When the @dccc blacklisted vendors of primary opponents, they made our democracy less healthy. Primaries are crucia… https://t.co/xl8MWypywr— Shawna Roberts (@Shawna Roberts) 1578063845.0
Minnesota's @collinpeterson (7th District) was one of two Democrats to vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. Archaic religi… https://t.co/4n887KISk0— NateRockKato (@NateRockKato) 1578069715.0
The Supreme Court has sided with abortion rights in the past, but the call from Republicans to reexamine Roe v. Wade is deeply troubling nonetheless.