Mississippi delegation, pro-life caucus file Amicus brief urging Supreme Court to uphold Mississippi pro-life law

More than 200 Senators, House Members Sign Brief, Say Supreme Court Should Let States Protect Life

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Mississippi congressional delegation and the House Pro-Life Caucus today led more than 200 members of Congress in filing an amicus brief supporting the State of Mississippi in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and urging the U.S. Supreme Court to Court to overturn a history of egregious abortion precedent set in Roe v. Wade.

The State of Mississippi in 2018 enacted the Gestational Age Act, a state law prohibiting abortion after 15 weeks’ gestation, except in cases of medical emergency.  The Jackson Women’s Health Organization, an abortion clinic in Jackson, Miss., sued on the grounds that the law violates the viability standard established by Planned Parenthood v. Casey.  The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision on these grounds.

 U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), and U.S. Representatives Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), Trent Kelly (R-Miss.), and Michael Guest (R-Miss.), along with House Pro-life Caucus Co-Chair Chris Smith (R-N.J.), filed the brief. In total, 44 Senators and 189 members of the House of Representatives signed the brief.

“Mississippi is at the forefront of the fight for life, and I am glad to lead the charge in Congress on behalf of the unborn,” Sen. Wicker said.  “For too long, the precedents of Roe and Casey have prevented states from taking meaningful steps to protect life in the womb.  My colleagues and I are urging the Supreme Court to correct these decades of injustice.”

“In taking up Mississippi’s pro-life law, the Supreme Court has a chance to reconsider the current misguided abortion jurisprudence,” Sen. Hyde-Smith said.  “As a Senator, as a woman, and as a mother, I think this case offers us a chance to overturn Roe and return the abortion issue to the political process and away from activist judges. I am thankful so many of my colleagues are standing with Mississippi and against unlimited abortion on demand in this case.”

Rep. Palazzo said, “I am proud to see that Mississippi is leading the nation in the fight to defend the unborn- challenging outdated precedents that strip states of their ability to ban abortion procedures.  This case offers a monumental opportunity for the highest court in the land to recognize states’ right to defend the unborn.  I stand with my colleagues and urge the Supreme Court to stand up for the countless innocent lives at the heart of this case,”.

Rep. Kelly said, “I am pleased to join this important brief.  Mississippians believe in the sanctity of life, a value that should not be violated by federal government overreach.” 

“Mississippi remains united in our desire to protect the lives of our unborn children, which is why the Mississippi delegation has come together to support the right to life movement in an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court.  This case is a strong step in defending our unborn children and I am thankful for the opportunity to support their right to life,” Rep. Guest said.

“In this multi-member filing, we urge the Court to affirm that federal and state governments are free to pass laws that protect children alive but not yet born,” Rep. Smith said.  “It’s time to recognize what abortion is: the killing of an unborn child through suction, dismemberment, or chemical poisoning.  In the 48 years since the infamous Supreme Court decisions legalizing abortion-on-demand throughout pregnancy, more than 62.5 million unborn lives have been lost.  The humanity of the unborn is undeniable, and this case is a crucial opportunity to recognize that states have a compelling interest in regulating abortion prior to viability.”

In the amicus brief, the lawmakers ask “the Court uphold Mississippi’s law as effectuating important state interests, or, alternatively, return this case to the lower courts for consideration on a full evidentiary record, recognizing that certain precedents [Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey] may be reconsidered and, where necessary, be wholly or partially overruled.”

This fall, the Supreme Court will hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health to consider the question of whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.  This case represents the most significant challenge to Roe v. Wade and the viability standard in Planned Parenthood v. Casey in a generation.  The State of Mississippi filed its case with the Supreme Court on July 22, 2021.

Click here to read the full amicus brief.