Leading Democrats excoriated the Supreme Court after a leaked draft opinion shows the conservative majority is poised to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion ruling, and castigated Republicans for an insidious, generation-long effort to remove the rights of girls and minority groups.
Democratic leaders gathered for the EMILY’s List Conference in Washington on Tuesday, a day after the draft Supreme Court opinion leaked. Vice President Kamala Harris opened the gala, which supports female political candidates who back abortion rights, vowing to work to codify the proper to abortion nationwide. She accused Republicans of “weaponizing” the rule of law against women, saying a democracy “can’t be strong if the rights of girls are under attack.”
“There’s nothing hypothetical about this moment,” Harris declared. “How dare they. How dare they tell a lady what she will do along with her own body. How dare they struggle to stop her from determining her own future. How dare they struggle to disclaim women their rights and their freedoms.”
“It has never been more clear which party desires to expand our rights and which party desires to restricts them,” she continued.
Republican legislators in states across the country are weaponizing the usage of Roe v. Wade against women.
The rights of all Americans are in danger. That is the time to fight for girls and our country with every little thing we’ve got.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) May 3, 2022
Harris: It has never been more clear which party wants to steer us forward and which party desires to push us back… We will not be going back pic.twitter.com/vdaUHdyLND
— Acyn (@Acyn) May 3, 2022
The vice chairman’s comments add to a growing political firestorm over the leak. Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the authenticity of the draft, but noted the court’s decision isn’t yet final. If the court does strike down Roe, no less than 26 states are more likely to ban abortion. A ruling is anticipated inside two months.
Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams said the “terrible” decision should galvanize Democrats and Americans concerned about civil liberties. She warned that the draft opinion, authored by Justice Samuel Alito, also threatens freedoms won by LGBTQ people and Americans of color.
“The abomination of that leaked opinion is coming for each one among us and we’ve got got to be able to fight back,” Abrams said. “It’s our right to regulate our bodies. That is about our dignity and our freedom. That is about our health and our welfare. That is about our future and our lives. And we’ve got the proper to be offended.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he was “infuriated” by the news, saying justices who signed on to the draft opinion lied during their Senate confirmation hearings once they said they might respect Supreme Court precedent. He pointed a finger directly on the GOP, saying Republicans spent the hours after the document leaked blaming the leaker reasonably than the precedent it will upend.
“They don’t need to deal with Roe v. Wade, where they know they’re on the flawed side of history and the flawed side of the American people,” Schumer said. “Blame for this decision falls squarely on Senate Republicans who spent years pushing extremist judges while claiming at the present time would never come.”
Schumer said earlier within the day the Senate would vote on a bill to codify abortion rights into law, but that measure likely is doomed to failure. The laws would wish 60 votes to pass the evenly divided chamber, and Democrats have didn’t muster support for changing filibuster rules.