Republicans greeted the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade with talk of going still further, not just allowing states to ban abortion but passing legislation in Congress to ban abortion nationwide. Can someone ask them about that again in the wake of the overwhelming Kansas vote to protect abortion rights?
House Republicans have been talking about a 15-week ban—and that isn’t all. They’ve introduced more than 150 bills focused on or mentioning abortion, including ones giving embryos rights from the “moment of fertilization” and banning abortion at six weeks, and the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” and the “Defund Planned Parenthood Act.”
Following the Supreme Court’s decision, several Republicans spoke from the House floor in support of a six-week abortion ban. A group of Senate Republicans had been discussing the same basic legislation, The Washington Post reported earlier, after the draft opinion leaked.
Immediately following the leak of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the decision would mean that “legislative bodies—not only at the state level but at the federal level—certainly could legislate in that area,” and that a federal abortion ban was “possible.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s statement on the Dobbs decision held out the possibility of further action, saying, “we acknowledge much work remains.” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said of efforts to pass an abortion ban in the House, “Not before the election.” But what about after the election? Would Republicans try to pass a ban then? “Well, yeah.”
This has been on the Republican agenda. Not always loudly, but always simmering there. They thought the Supreme Court overturning Roe was their moment, and they were and are ready to move if they retake Congress in November’s elections. But voters had their very direct say in Kansas on Tuesday night, and they rejected this agenda. Now that they have this evidence that their big agenda item isn’t so overwhelmingly popular (kind of the reverse, in fact), what do Republicans have to say about passing a national abortion ban? Someone should ask them, preferably on video.
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