Ohio Republicans Sign Letter Urging Supreme Court To Reconsider 'Roe v. Wade'

Jan 2, 2020
Originally published on January 2, 2020 3:18 pm

Most of Ohio’s Republican Congressional delegation has signed a letter urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider, and possibly overturn, the landmark abortion decision "Roe v. Wade."

The amicus brief was filed Thursday by 207 members of Congress in "June Medical Services v. Gee," a Supreme Court case considering a Louisiana abortion law that requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

Sen. Rob Portman joined the brief, along with Reps. Steve Chabot, Warren Davidson, Anthony Gonzalez, Bill Johnson, Jim Jordan, Bob Gibbs, Bob Latta, Troy Balderson, Mike Turner and Brad Wenstrup – all Republicans.

Louisiana abortion clinics argue that the law is both medically unnecessary and harmful to patients.

In December, almost 200 members of Congress, led by Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, submitted their own brief opposing the Louisiana law.

"In blatant defiance of the Constitution and this Court's prior holdings, states like Louisiana burden women’s ability to exercise their fundamental rights through pretextual laws that purport to address problems that do not exist," the Democratic letter reads. "The result is a patchwork of access to safe and legal abortion."

In their brief, the Republican members side with the state of Louisiana in defending the abortion law, claiming that the clinics lack standing to challenge the restrictions.

Their letter also urges the Supreme Court to throw out its current standard to decide whether abortion restrictions are constitutional, which was established in the 1992 case "Planned Parenthood v. Casey."

"Amici respectfully suggest that the court’s struggle—similar to dozens of other courts’ herculean struggles in this area—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," the Republican brief reads.

Besides Democrats, the only Ohio Congressional delegates who didn't sign the letter were Republican Reps. David Joyce and Steve Stivers. Reps. Marcia Fudge and Tim Ryan both joined the Democratic brief in December.

Louisiana's law is similar to one in Texas that the Supreme Court struck down in 2016. But under President Trump, the U.S. Supreme Court has since added two conservative justices who appear willing to review or throw out "Roe v. Wade."

Ohio has a law of its own, requiring abortion providers to maintain admitting privileges at a local hospital, that could be immediately affected by the Supreme Court’s decision. Other state abortion restrictions, including the six-week abortion ban passed last year but blocked by federal courts, may hinge on the fate of "Roe v. Wade."

Oral arguments in the case are set for March 4.

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