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Pelosi unveils abortion rights proposals after Supreme Court decision

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) finishes a news conference after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v Wade, which guaranteed a girl’s right to an abortion, within the Capitol Visitors Center on June 24, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images News | Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday said the chamber’s Democrats are exploring laws to guard personal data stored on reproductive health apps, ensure the appropriate to free travel between states and codify the appropriate to an abortion after the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade case.

The ideas, posed by Pelosi to fellow House Democrats in a letter dated Monday, follows the court’s Friday decision to upend nearly 50 years of abortion rights within the U.S. The choice has sparked nationwide outrage from supporters of abortion access in the times since.

“This weekend, the American people spoke out in person and in large numbers about their opposition to the Supreme Court’s disrespect for a lady’s freedom over her reproductive health,” the California Democrat Pelosi wrote. “While this extremist Supreme Court works to punish and control the American people, Democrats must proceed our fight to expand freedom in America.”

Her letter offered three early ideas that Democrats are weighing as a response to the ruling.

The primary would seek to guard “women’s most intimate and private data” stored in reproductive health apps.

“Many fear,” Pelosi wrote, “that this information could possibly be used against women by a sinister prosecutor in a state that criminalizes abortion.”

Such apps, including Flo of Flo Health, allow women to trace their menstruation, prepare for conception, pregnancy, early motherhood and menopause. While the corporate didn’t immediately reply to CNBC’s request for comment, a fact sheet published by the business shows that some 32 million people used its app every month and that 12 million had gotten pregnant while using the platform as of May 2020.

The second idea can be to pass laws that reiterates the constitutional right to travel freely throughout the U.S., ensuring that residents of states that ban abortions could go to a different for the procedure.

The third would codify abortion rights as set out under the 1973 Roe decision in a bill referred to as the Women’s Health Protection Act.

The possibilities such laws reaches President Joe Biden desk for enactment are slim, nonetheless, given stiff opposition from Senate Republicans.

Current Senate rules dictate that almost all party must muster 60 votes to beat an indefinite filibuster staged by the minority opposition. Since Democrats hold a razor-thin majority in a Senate split 50-50 — with Vice President Harris the important thing tiebreaker — any laws under current rules must garner 60 aye votes.

Pelosi acknowledged those long odds in her letter, but argued that Democrats should consider scrapping the filibuster rule altogether.

“It is crucial that we protect and expand our pro-choice Majorities within the House and Senate in November in order that we will eliminate the filibuster in order that we will restore women’s fundamental rights – and freedom for each American,” she wrote.

Barring the elimination for the filibuster, Democrats have few legislative options available to counter the Supreme Court’s decision to reverse its prior ruling.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told voters in his home state of Kentucky that Republicans and Democrats are far apart on any bipartisan compromise.

“Within the Senate most things require 60 votes,” he said. “Neither side of this issue has come anywhere near having 60 votes. So I feel that is prone to all be litigated out, handled in the assorted states across the country.”

That is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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