John Kennedy Fox News

U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, R-Madisonville, said during an appearance on Fox News on May 16, 2019 that he would back the Supreme Court if it revisits the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling. (Screen grab via FoxNews.com)

WASHINGTON — Amid a raging national debate over the future of abortion in the country, U.S. Sen. John Kennedy said during a Fox News appearance on Thursday that it would make sense for the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that has limited restrictions on abortion access.

“Let me tell you something, whether you agree with the result of Roe v Wade or you don’t, I taught constitutional law in another life for 15 years, and anybody who knows a law book from a J. Crew catalog knows that Roe v. Wade is one of the most poorly reasoned decisions in the history of the United States Supreme Court. It is totally illogical. The analysis makes no sense,” Kennedy, a Madisonville Republican who is a former LSU law professor and currently on the powerful Judiciary Committee, said of the 1973 ruling. “So, if the Supreme Court wants to revisit it, it’s not going to bother me one bit.”

You can watch the video of the exchange here. Kennedy's remarks about abortion begin at the 10-minute mark.

Kennedy was a Democrat for years but switched to the Republican Party in 2007. He was elected to the Senate in 2016. 

He was asked about Alabama's controversial anti-abortion law signed this week that has made national headlines. If enacted, doctors who perform abortions in Alabama could be punished with life in prison. 

“I’m not going to tell the people of Alabama what to do. That’s their business,” Kennedy said. “If a bill similar to the bill of Alabama came before me up here, I’d vote for it.”

“I believe all life is sacred,” he added.

Louisiana, which tends to be among states with the toughest restrictions on abortion, has three abortion clinics — one each in Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Shreveport. There were five when the Louisiana Legislature in 2014 passed a law requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. That law is on hold while it's being challenged to the U.S. Supreme Court –possibly the first major test of how conservative justices appointed by President Donald Trump address reproductive issues.

Louisiana state lawmakers this session continue advancing bills that would further regulate abortion, including a high-profile ban on abortions after a heartbeat is detected, usually at around six weeks of pregnancy – a point when many women remain unaware they are pregnant.

Louisiana currently prohibits abortion after 20 weeks. A 15-week ban was adopted last year, but it will only go into effect if a similar law in Mississippi is upheld.


Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter, @elizabethcrisp.