It’s being called the “fight of a generation,” and it is not a heavy-weight boxing battle in the ring or an MMF fight to the finish. It is the war being fought by activists who are enraged at the prospect of the Supreme Court reversal of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision on abortion.
This battle intensified after a leaked document from the High Court was released to the press that revealed the conservative opinion on a case written by Justice Samuel Alito. And the fight became even more critical this week when the U.S. Senate Democrats vowed to force a vote that would establish abortion rights into federal law.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer filed a motion to begin debate on what is called the Women’s Health Protection Act. After debate, there was likely to be a roll call vote on the bill by Wednesday of this week. The legislation would need 60 votes in favor to overcome a Senate filibuster, so the bill was likely to fail. There was a similar bill voted on in February by the Senate. The GOP leadership in the Senate stands united on voting against the bill and they are certainly united against anything that would impact the filibuster.
For Democrats, debating and voting on this bill was an opportunity for them to force each senator to go on record regarding where they stand on the abortion issue. This will most likely become a part of platforms and adverting in the coming midterm elections.
In fact, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said from the Senate floor on Monday, “I ask my colleagues to think carefully about their choice later this week. No more running, no more hiding. The vote will shine light on every single one of us.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell caused outrage among the Democratic leadership by telling USA Today over the weekend that if the GOP takes control of Congress after the midterms, they might very well pursue a national abortion ban.
“If the leaked opinion became the final opinion, legislative bodies — not only at the state level but at the federal level — could certainly legislate in that area,” McConnell said in response to a question as to whether a national abortion ban was considered worthy to debate.
President Biden’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, spoke about this issue at a Monday press briefing. She was asked if the White House administration believed the United States could outlaw abortion without intervention from the courts. Psaki responded that the risk was “serious,” and she reiterated that Biden’s administration supported Schumer’s work to get senators “on the record.”
Schumer lashed out at McConnell saying, “McConnell’s comments make it perfectly clear why the game here is not about states’ rights. The goal has always been a national ban on abortions altogether.”
There’s no shortage of Democrats who are lining up to point out the inconsistency of Republicans focusing on the abortion issue being decided by each state but also talking about a national ban on abortion from the Senate. Senator Chris Murphy from Connecticut said that he believed this would cause a lot of people to vote in November. He said that people will see that the fight is not just going to state legislatures, but D.C. as well.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wrote a “Dear Colleague” letter on Monday saying that she and he Democratic partners “must carry forward this fight” in the weeks and months ahead. She described taking the fight to the public arena so that every American would know that their “rights are on the ballot this November.”
The Democrats lost the vote in the Senate, so they cannot codify abortion rights…at least not yet.
The gloves are off… it’s the “fight of a generation.” It is the fight of our “life.”