Republican governors from 12 states signed an amicus brief on Thursday in which they encouraged the Supreme Court of the United States to uphold a Mississippi law that limits abortion to the first 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Governors from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas added their names to the document. The effort was spearheaded by South Carolina governor Henry McMaster.
Like McMaster, many of the governors live in states in which legislation has been passed that would limit or restrict abortion. Many of those laws have been challenged and some have been halted by the federal courts. In their brief, these governors insist that the issue of abortion is best left up to the states, not the federal government.
“The Court should take this opportunity to correct the mistakes in its abortion jurisprudence and recognize that the text and original understanding of the Fourteenth Amendment have nothing to do with abortion,” the document read. “Rather than creating a federal constitutional right, the Court should leave regulating abortion to the States, where the people may act through the democratic process.”
The brief further reads, “The Court’s decisions in Roe and Casey are prime examples of invading an area that has not been committed to the Federal Government and remains reserved to the States.”
The brief focuses on the upcoming Supreme Court case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in which Mississippi’s sole abortion provider is challenging a law that limits abortion to before 15 weeks gestation. The case is expected to commence in the fall, with a decision likely coming in 2022. It is through this court ruling that many hope the conservative-majority SCOTUS will actually overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeast Pennsylvania v. Casey, two cases that legalized abortion and cemented it as a constitutional right.
Idaho Governor Brad Little issued a statement after signing the brief. “Protecting the lives of preborn babies has always been and will continue to be a priority of mine,” he said, according to the Associated Press. “I am asking the U.S. Supreme Court to clarify there is no constitutional right to an abortion and restore state sovereignty by allowing states to regulate all abortions consistent with the principles of democratic self-governance.”
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