Republicans ask SCOTUS to limit women's access to health care further

145 Republican members of Congress have signed on to an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to restrict access to mifepristone, a drug used to end pregnancy, so that they do not have to do it.

Continuing to attack women's access to health care but realizing it's very unpopular, 119 congresspeople and 26 senators have signed on to an amicus brief looking to use a zombie law from the 1870s to restrict the shipment of mifepristone rather than pass their law themselves. This, and all of the other hijinks around the Supreme Court this week, should serve as a massive alarm to get out the vote if we want a democracy.

Nearly 150 Republican lawmakers asked the Supreme Court Thursday to restrict access to the abortion drug mifepristone—citing a law from 1873—when it hears a case on March 26. In a legal filing known as an amicus brief, 26 Senators and 119 Representatives argue that not only did the Food and Drug Administration not follow proper procedure when it updated the pill's labeling in 2016 and then allowed telemedicine prescriptions in 2021, but they claim the agency "blatantly disregard[ed] the federal law's prohibition on the mailing and interstate shipment of abortion-inducing drugs."

The GOP brief doesn't refer to that federal law by name, but rather by its federal statute number, 18 U.S.C. 1461 and 1462. But it's the 19th-century Comstock Act, a zombie law that conservatives want Donald Trump to enforce should he win the presidency in November as a way to ban abortion nationwide without Congress. Read broadly, it could be used to not only ban medication abortion, but by prohibiting shipments of medical supplies used in clinics, it could outright ban abortion procedures in all 50 states. Yes, even ones with laws that protect abortion.

Other amicus briefs in the case point to that horrifying possibility: One filed on Tuesday by former Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow argues that Comstock "makes it a federal offense to mail abortion drugs (or devices or equipment)" and that "the prohibition is simple, complete, and categorical." Additional briefs that cite Comstock either by name or statute number include those from the group of anti-abortion doctors who sued the FDA in the first place, plus Americans United for Life and the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center.