Mississippi's two U.S. senators, Republicans Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith, are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to consider overturning its 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized abortion nationwide. The lawmakers took that stand in an amicus brief that they filed alongside 37 other U.S. senators and 166 U.S. House members on Jan. 2, hoping the nation's high court will consider their arguments when it hears a key abortion case in early March.
"The anti-choice movement is no longer trying to hide their real agenda," Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said in a statement on Jan. 2. "They are gunning to end Roe, criminalize abortion and punish women. If it wasn't clear why we fought like hell to stop Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation (to the U.S. Supreme Court) before, it should be crystal clear now."
In the briefing, known as an amicus curie or "friend of the court" brief, the lawmakers wrote that the court should consider whether Roe and another U.S. Supreme Court case that upheld abortion rights, 1992's Planned Parenthood v. Casey, "should be reconsidered, and, if appropriate, overruled."
'Time to Start Testing the Limits of Roe'
The upcoming abortion case that Mississippi's senators and other Republicans want used as a potential platform for overturning abortion-rights precedents is June Medical Services L.L.C. v. Gee, which challenges Louisiana's admitting-privileges law.
Conservative Louisiana legislators designed that law, which requires abortion providers to get difficult-to-obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital, with the goal of shutting down most if not all of that state's three remaining abortion clinics by making it practically impossible for them to continue to operate. The Mississippi Legislature passed a similar law in 2012 that federal courts struck down as unconstitutional.
In December, a conservative-leaning three-judge panel at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, though, upheld Louisiana's admitting privileges law,