The Organization of American Historians, along with the American Historical Association (AHA), has become a signatory to an amicus curiae brief in the Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This brief, based on decades of study and research by professional historians, aims to provide an accurate historical perspective as the Court considers the state of Mississippi’s challenge to a woman’s right to abortion that was affirmed by the Court in Roe v. Wade.
Given the significant role that history played in Justice Harry Blackmun’s majority opinion in Roe v. Wade, the OAH-AHA brief aims to present the court with an accurate account of the history of abortion in the early United States and the process by which abortion was made criminal. “The OAH is committed to the principle that the past is a key to understanding the present, and has an interest—as a steward of history, not as an advocate of a particular legal standard—to ensure that the Court is presented with an accurate portrayal of American history and traditions,” the brief’s interest statement notes.
The Supreme Court will hear the case on December 1.