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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Family Research Council filed an amicus brief yesterday with the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, in one of the most significant challenges to the Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. The Court's decision in Roe held that a woman had a constitutional right to abortion under the Fourteenth Amendment, striking down many state abortion restrictions and severely limiting the extent to which states could write their own abortion laws.
In the brief, we argue: "In Casey, a plurality recognized that Roe and its trimester framework were unworkable and introduced a new 'controlling standard' that was intended to provide judges clarity in deciding abortion cases. But Casey only made things worse. Created 'out of whole cloth,' Casey's undue-burden standard provided no rule of law, instead forcing judges to evaluate abortion regulations on the basis of their own personal value judgments. And its viability rule relied on ever-changing medical technology, while preventing states from acting upon their important interests in protecting nascent life and beyond."
The brief continues: "Instead of aiding judges in 'neutral and principled administration' of the law, the undue burden standard forces [judges] to rely on their own moral intuitions to decide cases. That practice perverts the judicial function and undermines the rule of law."
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins commented on FRC's amicus brief:
"Considering this national trend of legislative action against abortion, the pre-viability restrictions that Mississippi HB 1510 implements are increasingly, and in fact, reflective of the convictions of the nation. America is truly an outlier in extreme abortion laws since most countries around the world limit abortion. It's time that the Courts allow for the states to enact laws that are consistent with the scientific and medical advances in the half century since Roe v. Wade was decided. In 1973, the Court assumed it had settled the debate over abortion. Yet no court can change the truth that a society that does not respect life that is defenseless, does not respect life," concluded Perkins.
Katherine Beck Johnson, FRC's Research Fellow for Legal and Policy Studies, and an attorney who assisted with the brief, added:
"The Court's decisions in Roe and Casey have taken over 60 million lives and done irreparable harm to our country, not just through the lost lives of the aborted babies, but also to their mothers and families. The country is worse off because of the lives lost in abortion. I'm proud that our amicus brief boldly calls for an end to the viability standard that has no grounding in the Constitution. Roe and Casey must be overturned."
To read FRC's amicus brief, please see: https://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF21G39.pdf
To read FRC's state policy brief publication on what states can do to advance life in a post-Roe world, please see: https://www.frc.org/statepolicybrief/total-abortion-ban