The U.S. Senate will consider legislation that would attempt to block states from banning abortions, essentially keeping the status quo for abortion policy in the U.S. Legislation could go up for a vote next week.
The proposed legislation comes in the wake of a leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion that would undo the legal precedent set in Roe versus Wade. The draft published by Politico earlier this week indicates the Supreme Court is poised to undo Roe versus Wade, opening the door for states to ban or curtail a person’s ability to seek an abortion.
While most Democrats have vowed to legislate abortion rights into law, such legislation likely does not have enough support despite Democrats holding advantages in both the Senate and House. Such a measure could require 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster. Some Democrats have also expressed a reticence to eliminate the filibuster.
“They spent a decade, two decades trying to repeal Roe and now they won't own up to it,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said about Republicans. “They're like the dog that caught the bus. They know they're on the wrong side of history. They know they're on the wrong side of where the American people are. They know they'll pay consequences in the 2022 elections. And their spin masters are telling them to avoid the subject and they did.”
The leader of Senate Republicans, Mitch McConnell, expressed his displeasure at the leak.
“Never before, never before in modern history has an internal draft been leaked to the public while the justices were still deciding a case. Never before. Whoever committed this lawless act knew exactly what it could bring about. The Justices already require security,” McConnell said.
Democrats appear poised to use the 2022 midterm election as a referendum on abortion rights.
“If the Court does overturn Roe, it will fall on our nation’s elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman’s right to choose. And it will fall on voters to elect pro-choice officials this November. At the federal level, we will need more pro-choice Senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to adopt legislation that codifies Roe, which I will work to pass and sign into law,” President Joe Biden said earlier this week.