Following the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the right to abortion, Republicans have made it clear that they won’t stop there: they want to ban abortion nationwide.
“Having been given this second chance at life, we must not rest and not relent until the sanctity of life is restored to the center of American law in every state across the country,” the vice said. -President Mike Pence in a statement praising the court. decision on Friday.
The decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization does not ban abortion nationwide, although it does trigger laws banning or severely restricting abortions in more than 20 Republican-leaning states. A number of blue states, including Massachusetts, California and Illinois, have passed legislation protecting the right to abortion.
Republicans and anti-choice activists, however, are making it clear that they plan to force even those states to ban abortion, either through state-by-state campaigns or federal law banning the procedure.
“The work of the pro-life movement has just begun,” Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said in a statement praising the decision. “This issue will now be debated in all 50 states, and a continental nation of 330,000,000 people will work through this debate in a healthier way than Roe’s one size, Washington centrism.”
Adopting a national abortion ban would be politically difficult, but not impossible. Republicans would need to gain control of the Presidency, House and large enough Senate majorities to eliminate the filibuster or circumvent the 60-vote requirement. (The latter requirement is facilitated by the Senate’s strong bias toward rural voters, who are a key part of the GOP base.)
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), for his part, admitted a national abortion ban was “possible” after the Supreme Court’s draft ruling was initially leaked. Last week, Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) reportedly backed a federal ban because “all of us who believe it’s wrong, it’s wrong, period.”
Some Republican senators and anti-choice activists have begun drafting legislation for a six-week abortion ban.
Such a ban would be unpopular: Only 37% of Americans think abortion should be illegal most or all of the time, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told CNN on Friday he would support codifying an abortion ban. after 15 weekswhich is probably not as far as other members of his party would like to go.
Democratic leaders are playing the threat of a ban.
“Republicans are plotting a national abortion ban,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said Friday morning. “They can’t be allowed to have a majority in Congress to do this.”
Learn more about the Supreme Court decision on abortion:
The Huffington Gt