By Dave Andrusko
All last week, NRL News Today reviewed amicus briefs filed with the Supreme Court, including its own, supporting Mississippi’s pro-life Gestational Age Act which the Supreme Court will hear this fall. With a few exceptions, the law forbids abortions performed after the 15th week.
National Right to Life supports a wide variety of amicus briefs—including the one from over 200 members of Congress that we discussed elsewhere–which defend Mississippi’s protective HB 10 against pro-abortion attacks and explain to the justices why Roe v. Wade is not only bad law but also outdated and ought to be overturned.
James Bopp, Jr., NRLC General Counsel, explained that the joint National Right to Life/ Louisiana Right to Life amicus brief in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization “supports the overturning of Roe v. Wade and provides a legal framework that will lead directly to achieving that goal.”
If you go to the Supreme Court docket, you find a huge number of briefs from public policy organizations, faith groups, legislators, pro-life state organizations, and individuals (to name just a few).
The arguments that culminate in the call for the reversal of Roe are as many as they are ingenious. For example, as Bopp observed, “Since Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court has twisted the normal rules of law to protect an absolute abortion right and not given full effect to powerful state interests such as protecting preborn life and maternal health.”
Specifically, with respect to Mississippi’s law, the trial court didn’t allow evidence documenting the state’s interests—interests that include protecting preborn human life (including from pain), protecting maternal health, guarding against harm to the integrity of the medical profession, protecting civil society, protecting against sex-, race-, and disability-discrimination, and other vital interests. As the joint NRLC-Louisiana brief explained, requiring normal rules and giving full effect to these important state interests will reverse not only the course Roe set in abandoning normal law but also reverse Roe itself.
Another amicus was filed on behalf of 321 legislators from 35 states. National Right to Life state affiliates, in co-ordination with National Right to Right, urged state legislators to sign onto the brief.
That brief’s summary of why the Court should overturn Roe covers a wide swath of important considerations.
This Court should overturn Roe because all three prongs of the stare decisis analysis support overturning the precedent: Roe is egregiously wrong, it has caused negative jurisprudential and real-world consequences, and overturning Roe will not necessarily upset reliance interests. Once this Court overturns Roe, it should apply rational basis to state laws regulating abortion, as rational basis review conforms to this Court’s precedent and the Constitution’s structure. The application of rational basis review would once again afford States their proper constitutional role in protecting the health and welfare of their citizens, empowering democratically-elected state legislators, who are your amici, to make considered policy decisions carefully crafted to protect the life and health of both the mother and child.
We are reviewing additional amicus briefs this week.