Nearly 230 Republican lawmakers, including McConnell and McCarthy, urge the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and 'release its vise grip on abortion politics'

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McConnell
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Samuel Corum/Getty Images
  • Nearly 230 Republican members of Congress called on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.

  • Lawyers for the lawmakers said the court should "release its vise grip on abortion politics."

  • In its next term, the court will review a Mississippi ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Nearly 230 congressional Republicans on Thursday urged the Supreme Court to overturn the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade.

Lawyers representing the 44 senators and 184 House members said in a brief that the court should use an upcoming Mississippi case to "release its vise grip on abortion politics" and leave abortion-related legislation up to states to decide.

"Congress and the States have shown that they are ready and able to address the issue in ways that reflect Americans' varying viewpoints and are grounded in the science of fetal development and maternal health," the brief said.

Two of the prominent Republicans who signed on to the brief are Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

The brief is tied to a major abortion case that the Supreme Court will review next term, concerning whether a 2018 Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy is unconstitutional. The state's only abortion clinic, Jackson Women's Health Organization, challenged the ban, and lower courts have ruled against it.

The Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments on the case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, in the fall.

Under President Donald Trump, the court reached a 6-3 conservative majority. The court's latest justice, Amy Coney Barrett, refused to offer her views on Roe v. Wade during her confirmation hearings last year. Barrett replaced Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an abortion-rights advocate, after her death in September.

The GOP brief came a week after Mississippi called on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade so that the state could uphold its restrictions to abortion access. The state called Roe v. Wade "egregiously wrong" and outdated.

"The conclusion that abortion is a constitutional right has no basis in text, structure, history, or tradition," Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch wrote in a brief.

Republican Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Mike Lee of Utah also filed a brief this week urging the court to overrule its decision on Roe v. Wade.

"This status quo is untenable," the GOP senators wrote in a press release.

Roe v. Wade is the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

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