Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested that the GOP could pursue a federal ban against abortion if it is overturned by the right-wing Supreme Court Roe v. WadeIn the fast approaching midterm elections, Republicans regain control in Congress.
“If the leaked opinion became the final opinion, legislative bodies — not only at the state level but at the federal level — certainly could legislate in that area,” McConnell (R-Ky.) told USA Today in an interview late last week, days after the publication of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft ruling in a Mississippi abortion-ban case sparked nationwide outrage.
“If this were the final decision, that was the point that it should be resolved one way or another in the legislative process,” McConnell said of a federal abortion ban, which polling suggestsIt would be unpopular with the U.S. electorate. “So yeah, it’s possible.”
While the Republican leader claimed he would not be willing to weaken the legislative filibuster to push through a federal abortion ban, the GOP’s 2017 decision to nuke the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees paved the way for the confirmation of Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett — each of whom is reportedlyPreparing to vote with Alito at the end Roe.
“No one should be surprised at what the leak of Alito’s opinion taking away abortion rights revealed. There is a plan, and this is just one part of it,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said Saturday. “This is why Mitch McConnell refused to let the Senate consider Judge Merrick Garland.”
“This is why they eliminated the filibuster for Gorsuch,” Whitehouse added. “This is why they pressured the FBI to tank the Kavanaugh investigation. This is why they broke the ‘Garland rule’ to stuff Barrett on the court mid-election. This is why $580million was spent to capture Barrett. This is why the Federalist Society was the turnstile for Supreme Court nominees.”
The Supreme Court is expected in July to issue its final ruling in this case, which centers on a broad ban on abortion in Mississippi.
McConnell’s remarks to USA TodayAs Senate Democrats prepared for a possible Wednesday vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act, legislation that would codify into federal law the right to abortion care free from medically unnecessary restrictions.
The bill will fail if Sen. Joe Manchin (D.W.Va.), approves it remains opposedDemocrats oppose the measure and refuse to abolish or reform the legislative filibuster.
The Senate was last held by Republicans in 1994. tried and failedTrump-backed legislation, which would have banned abortion at federal level after 20 weeks of gestation, was passed. Manchin joined most Senate Republicans in supporting the 2018 proposal, which garnered 51 votes—not enough to overcome the 60-vote filibuster.
The Washington Post reported last week that “leading anti-abortion groups and their allies in Congress have been meeting behind the scenes to plan a national strategy that would kick in if the Supreme Court rolls back abortion rights this summer, including a push for a strict nationwide ban on the procedure if Republicans retake power in Washington.”
“A group of Republican senators has discussed at multiple meetings the possibility of banning abortion at around six weeks, said Sen. James Lankford (Okla.), who was in attendance and said he would support the legislation,” the Post noted. “Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) will introduce the legislation in the Senate, according to an antiabortion advocate with knowledge of the discussions.”
Although such a bill will not pass as long Democrats control the presidency it will lay the foundation for a broad ban as Republicans seek to regain the White House in 2024.
Nationwide abortion ban: that’s the goal of anti-abortion politicians if they regain power in Washington this November. https://t.co/fVgLHHDJ5s
— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) May 7, 2022
People are facing grave threats to their abortion rights. took to the streets in major U.S. cities on Saturday to voice opposition to Alito’s draft opinion and GOP efforts to roll back reproductive freedoms at the national level and in states across the country. The Guttmacher Institute estimates that 26 U.S. states are “certain or likely to move quickly to ban abortion” if the Supreme Court overturns Roe.
On Saturday evening, pro-abortion rights activists protested outside Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts’ homes.
Pro-choice activists gathered at Justice Roberts’s home tonight to protest a rule: “You can’t picket any private residence.”
“If you remain here, I’ll start giving orders, which could lead towards your arrest.”
Activists needed to keep moving.
— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) May 8, 2022
Demonstrators can also be expectedSupport reproductive rights at U.S. Supreme Court.
“Mother’s Day is for us and what we deserve to take care of our families, including the right to have an abortion,” tweeted Shaunna Thomas, the co-founder of UltraViolet. “See you there.”