Amici are the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians.
The brief argues that newly accessible historical evidence strongly supports Roe’s finding that the history and traditions relating to the common law upheld the individual right to decide to terminate a pregnancy.
Amici explain that the early U.S. followed the common law, which did not prohibit abortion during all stages of pregnancy. The common law tradition governing abortion influenced the uneven and slow move to state regulation of abortion.
The brief recounts history documenting that in the nineteenth century, states restricted abortions more severely following an elite-driven physicians’ campaign (based in part on discriminatory motives). However, this campaign did not succeed nationwide, and women continued to obtain abortion care.
Hogan Lovells US LLP is pro bono counsel.
This brief was one of over 50 amicus briefs filed supporting this Supreme Court case, which challenges Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban. For more information on the case, go to Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.