Democrats Vow to Protect Reproductive Rights But Can’t Actually Do Much

Democrats in Congress were in a fighting mood on Tuesday. Just hours after Politico published a draft opinion by a Supreme Court majority that would strike down Roe v. Wade, senators issued fiery promises about what Congress must do next to safeguard legal access to abortions.

“I am angry. Angry and upset and determined,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts declared outside the Court. “The United States Congress can keep Roe v. Wade the law of the land. They just need to do it.”

It just wasn’t clear how. Many Democrats have long pursued two legislative avenues to safeguard the right to a legal abortion nationwide. “Congress must pass legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in this country NOW,” Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted. “And if there aren’t 60 votes in the Senate to do it, and there are not, we must end the filibuster to pass it with 50 votes.”
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Yet in a 50-50 Senate, any effort to pass a law codifying abortion access nationwide would require 60 votes, which Democrats are extremely unlikely to win. And any attempt to end-run that 60-vote limit would require overturning the filibuster—an equally unlikely scenario.

Read More: What to Know About the Leaked Roe v. Wade Supreme Court Draft Opinion

That much was clear in February, when Republican Senators, joined by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, blocked a bill known as the Women’s Health Protection Act, which was designed to enshrine the right to abortions in federal law. The measure passed the Democratic-controlled House last September, but never stood a chance of gaining the support of 60 senators.

Democrats in the Capitol acknowledged Tuesday that little has changed, even though the explosive leak from the Court has ratcheted up the urgency.

“We’ll put a vote on the floor to make …read more

Source:: Time – Politics

      

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