Democrats outraged over the contents of a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion appearing to signal the impending end of Roe v. Wade have amplified their previous calls to federally codify a right to abortion and – in furtherance of that aim – to eliminate the filibuster rules in the Senate, as NBC News reports.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced that the chamber will hold a procedural vote next week on the question of whether the holding in Roe should be enshrined in federal law, though it is all but certain that Democrats would go down to defeat on the issue, given existing opposition to the so-called Women’s Health Protection Act.
“Next week’s vote will be one of the most important we ever take because it deals with one of the most personal and difficult decisions a woman ever has to make in her life,” Schumer said, adding, “This is not an abstract exercise. My fellow Americans, it’s as real and as urgent as it gets.”
Even so, Schumer knows full well that federal codification stands little chance of success under the current legislative realities, as it is likely to face a similar fate to the one such an initiative suffered back in February, when the measure passed in the House of Representatives only to be blocked from further progress in the Senate by Joe Manchin (D-WV).
Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who, as Fox News reported, described herself Thursday as “MADDER than hell” about the leaked draft opinion, also understands the uphill battle she and her allies face on the codification question, and she appears willing to take drastic action to achieve her desired result.
Visibly enraged by the prospect of defeat, Warren stirred up a group of pro-abortion activists outside the high court earlier last week, blasting what she called the “extremist” court, later suggesting that expanding the Supreme Court to “rebalance” it must be an immediate priority and declaring that the filibuster must not stand in the way of efforts to protect what she called “the constitutional right to abortion.”
Arizona Democrat Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who has frequently drawn the ire of liberals for her reluctance to scuttle the filibuster once and for all, further dampened her colleagues’ chances of codifying Roe by issuing a statement in which she reaffirmed her pro-choice stance, but did not evince a willingness to change her mind on the 60-vote threshold that would certainly be necessary to overcome the inevitable degree of Republican opposition to the measure in the upper chamber.
As The Hill noted, Sinema explained that the filibuster has played a key role in the past when women’s rights were in jeopardy, saying, “Protections in the Senate safeguarding against the erosion of women’s access to health care have been used half-a-dozen times in the past ten years, and are more important now than ever,” and adding that as a co-sponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act, she will “continue working with anyone to protect women’s ability to make decisions about their futures.”
The leftist hysteria that has erupted since the draft opinion emerged is no surprise, given the decades of deep national division surrounding the issue of abortion, and it remains to be seen just how far Democrats will go in their attempt to achieve through force what they fear the cannot accomplish at the ballot box.