Ohio Republicans push high court on abortion laws

Eleven Republicans in Ohio’s congressional delegation have urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider Roe vs. Wade, the landmark ruling protecting women’s right to privacy when seeking abortions.

Nearly 200 members of the House and Senate signed the amicus brief in June Medical Services vs. Louisiana Health Department Secretary Rebekah Gee.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Cincinnati, as well as U.S. Reps. Steve Chabot, Warren Davidson, Jim Jordan, Mike Turner and Brad Wenstrup signed onto the brief.

“Time and time again, Ohio has proven to be a pro-life state. We are blessed to have leaders in Ohio willing to stand up for the will of the people and defend the most vulnerable,” said Aaron Baer of Citizens for Community Values.

RELATED: Federal lawsuit challenges Ohio's heartbeat abortion ban law signed by DeWine

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio director Kellie Copeland said on Twitter: “Ohio’s members of Congress should respect their constituents and trust them to make the decisions that are best for themselves and their families. If they do not, voters should remember when they go to the polls in November.”

June Medical is challenging a 2014 law in Louisiana that requires abortion doctors have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of the abortion clinic, which is similar to a law on Ohio’s books. June Medical argues that the law is medically unnecessary and puts an undue burden on women.

The amicus brief signed by members of Congress argues that the case be used to reconsider, and if appropriate, overturn Roe versus Wade as well as Planned Parenthood versus Casey.

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the June Medical v. Gee case in March. Incidentally, Dr. Rebekah Gee is the daughter of former Ohio State University president E. Gordon Gee.

Ohio Democrats Joyce Beatty, Marcia Fudge, Marcy Kaptur, Tim Ryan and Sherrod Brown as well as Republicans Dave Joyce and Steve Stivers did not sign onto the amicus brief.

Brown, Fudge and Ryan signed onto a separate brief, arguing that the Louisiana law should be struck down and that it represents a wave of state laws designed to impede access to abortion.

Meanwhile, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost joined other states attorneys general in yet another brief on the case. They argued that abortion practitioners lack standing and the case should be dismissed and the law upheld.

Over the past 15 years, anti-abortion groups in Ohio have successfully lobbied for more restrictions to the procedure, including a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, requirements that clinics have emergency transfer agreements with local hospitals, and mandated ultrasounds before the procedure.

About the Author