Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Most of Ohio's Republican congressional delegation joined 207 members of Congress in signing a legal brief
filed yesterday asking the United States Supreme Court to consider reversing a decades-old ruling legalizing abortion across the country.
The filing is the latest salvo in an effort by conservatives to challenge legal protections for abortion so that states can someday outlaw the procedures. A number of laws coming out of state legislatures — including some in Ohio outlawing abortions as early as six weeks after conception — have been aimed recently at challenging those protections under the 1973 Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade. The fate of those laws could hinge on coming rulings by SCOTUS.
Yesterday's brief, filed in connection with a case before SCOTUS regarding Louisiana abortion restrictions, argues that the court's application of Roe prohibiting state laws outright banning abortion has not been consistently applied or clearly interpreted, nor has a subsequent standard for whether abortion restrictions are constitutional set in a 1992 decision on the case Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Thus, the filers argue, the court needs to consider the issue again.
"In sum, Roe’s jurisprudence has been characterized by Delphic confusion and protean change," the brief reads. "These incessant retrenchments show that Roe has been substantially undermined by subsequent authority, a principal factor the Court considers when deciding whether to overrule precedent."
Ohio Reps. Steve Chabot, Brad Wenstrup, Warren Davidson, Jim Jordan, Anthony Gonzalez, Bob Gibbs, Bob Latta, Troy Balderson, Bill Johnson and Mike Turner signed the amicus brief, as did Ohio's U.S. Sen. Rob Portman.
Sign up for Scene's weekly newsletters to get the latest on Cleveland news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.