Monday, March 1, 2021
March 1, 2021

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Lawmakers urge Supreme Court to re-examine abortion decisions

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WASHINGTON — More than 200 lawmakers, mostly Republicans, filed an amicus brief Thursday urging the Supreme Court to upend the precedents set by two landmark abortion rights cases, elevating abortion as a campaign issue ahead of this fall’s elections.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on March 4 in June Medical Services v. Gee, a case over a 2014 Louisiana law that requires physicians who offer abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital within 30 miles. Abortion rights advocates argue that the restrictions are burdensome and would cause most doctors to stop performing abortions.

Lower courts blocked the law, citing a 2016 Supreme Court case known as Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which blocked a similar admitting privileges law in Texas.

The brief goes further than Louisiana’s own brief to the court. The lawmakers urged the high court to not only reinstate the Louisiana law but also reconsider two major Supreme Court abortion rights decisions — the 1973 Roe v. Wade case that found that abortion is legal and the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision that upheld abortion but found some state restrictions could be allowed if they are not an undue burden for women seeking abortions.

The brief says the case “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.”

Interest group coalitions on both sides of the abortion debate have already committed to spending record amounts to influence this year’s election — both for the presidential race and down-ballot races.

Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund on Thursday also announced eight endorsements of female congressional candidates who oppose abortion.

“In revisiting this issue, we hope to see the Court respect the right of state lawmakers to prioritize women’s health and safety over abortion industry profits,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List.

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