Republican lawmakers told the Supreme Court the landmark abortion case is 'unworkable' and 'should be reconsidered.'
A total of 39 Republican senators and 166 Republican House members on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade — the landmark case that cemented the right to abortion in the United States.
In an amicus brief — a legal document that interested parties send to the Supreme Court to influence opinions — the members of Congress called Roe "unworkable" and urged the court to reconsider and overrule the precedent set in that decision.
In the brief, the members argue that current laws create "confusion" for lawmakers and that this "illustrates the unworkability of the 'right to abortion' found in Roe and the need for the Court to take up the issue of whether Roe and Casey should be reconsidered and, if appropriate, overruled." (Casey refers to the landmark 1992 decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which invalidated anti-abortion laws that created an "undue burden" on those seeking abortions.)
The brief comes before the Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on an anti-abortion law in Louisiana that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.
Republican-controlled legislators have passed a series of extreme anti-abortion laws that not only ban the procedure, but also criminalize it — raising the specter of jail time for doctors who perform abortions.
In Alabama, for example, Republican lawmakers tried to ban abortion in all cases — including rape and incest — and raise the possibility that abortion-providing doctors could go to jail for 99 years. That law was temporarily blocked from enforcement as a legal challenge makes its way through the courts.
Right-wing lawmakers have used these extreme abortion bans to try to get the courts to reconsider landmark abortion cases such as Roe v. Wade.
And they hope that Justice Brett Kavanaugh replacing swing-vote Anthony Kennedy on the court will help achieve that goal.
Meanwhile, polls show support for abortion increased following the extreme anti-abortion laws Republicans have passed across the country.
In June, shortly after the Alabama law caused a nationwide uproar, 56% of Americans said abortion should be legal "all or most of the time," according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
An Associated Press poll published on Thursday found 45% oppose making abortion illegal in most cases, while 37% approve.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.