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.
At least two Democrats, Congressmen Collin Peterson (D-MI) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL) signed the briefing as well, angering their Democratic constituents.
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.