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Senate Democrats Warn of G.O.P. Effort to Restrict Abortion Nationwide


WASHINGTON — Democrats rang alarm bells on Sunday in regards to the likelihood that Republicans would try to limit abortion nationwide, two days after an interview was published wherein Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader, said a ban was “possible” if his party gained control in Washington.

On the Sunday talk shows and in other public statements, Democratic senators said Republicans wouldn’t stop at letting the states determine the difficulty, but would most probably push for federal restrictions. That made it paramount, they said, that the Democratic Party maintain control of the Senate because it tries to codify abortion rights into federal law.

“We want to be certain that each single voter understands that the Republican Party and Mitch McConnell doesn’t consider that their daughters, that their moms, that their sisters have rights to make fundamental life and death decisions,” Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of Recent York, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We’re half-citizens under this ruling. And if that is put into law, it changes the muse of America.”

After a leaked draft decision indicated that the Supreme Court was poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that established a constitutional right to abortion, Mr. McConnell said in an interview with USA Today that a national abortion ban was “possible” if that draft document became an official opinion of the court.

“If the leaked opinion became the ultimate opinion, legislative bodies — not only on the state level but on the federal level — definitely could legislate in that area,” Mr. McConnell said when asked if a national abortion ban was “worthy of debate.”

Commentary by Times Opinion writers and columnists on the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

“So yeah, it’s possible,” he added.

Mr. McConnell argued that the discussion a few federal ban was premature, but that it was clear that the Republican Party has long been against abortion. Discussions are already underway amongst some Republican senators about pushing to ban abortion after a certain variety of weeks, starting from six to twenty, depending on the proposal.

“If and when the court makes a final decision, I expect everybody might be more definitive,” Mr. McConnell said. “But I don’t think it’s much secret where Senate Republicans stand on that issue.”

A document circulated by the National Republican Senatorial Committee and obtained by Axios urged candidates to be low key about abortion, casting themselves as “compassionate consensus builders” with a post-Roe America looming as early as next month.

“States must have the flexibleness to implement reasonable restrictions,” the document states.

Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said on “Fox News Sunday” that he would push a bill to outlaw abortion nationwide after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

“We’re one in all the seven nations on the earth that allow abortion on demand at 20 weeks, the fifth month in pregnancy,” Mr. Graham said. “Congress will proceed to debate this issue.”

The State of Roe v. Wade

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What’s Roe v. Wade? Roe v. Wade is a landmark Supreme court decision that legalized abortion across the US. The 7-2 ruling was announced on Jan. 22, 1973. Justice Harry A. Blackmun, a modest Midwestern Republican and a defender of the proper to abortion, wrote the bulk opinion.

What was the case about? The ruling struck down laws in lots of states that had barred abortion, declaring that they may not ban the procedure before the purpose at which a fetus can survive outside the womb. That time, often known as fetal viability, was around 28 weeks when Roe was decided. Today, most experts estimate it to be about 23 or 24 weeks.

What else did the case do? Roe v. Wade created a framework to manipulate abortion regulation based on the trimesters of pregnancy. In the primary trimester, it allowed almost no regulations. Within the second, it allowed regulations to guard women’s health. Within the third, it allowed states to ban abortions as long as exceptions were made to guard the life and health of the mother. In 1992, the court tossed that framework, while affirming Roe’s essential holding.

But Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, said on ABC’s “This Week” that no woman wants a Republican senator — like Ted Cruz of Texas — deciding whether she will have an abortion.

“Who should make this decision? Should or not it’s a girl and her doctor or a politician? Should or not it’s Ted Cruz making this decision or a girl and her family?”

Senator Maggie Hassan, a Recent Hampshire Democrat who’s up for re-election, blasted out a news release of Mr. McConnell’s comments on Saturday evening.

“Mitch McConnell is already making it clear that if Republicans retake the Senate majority, they may quickly move to criminalize abortion nationwide and roll back reproductive freedom for ladies all across this country, including in Recent Hampshire,” Ms. Hassan said.

Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of Recent York and the bulk leader, has arrange a Wednesday vote on a bill to codify abortion rights into federal law. The laws is all but certain to be blocked by Republicans, falling in need of the 60 votes needed to advance past the Senate’s legislative filibuster.

It also appears to lack even the straightforward majority it will must pass the 50-50 Senate, provided that Senator Joe Manchin III, the centrist Democrat from West Virginia who opposes abortion rights, voted against bringing up an almost an identical measure in February and showed no signs that he had shifted his position.

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