House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently called for the abolition of the legislative filibuster “so we can restore women’s fundamental rights” after Supreme Court Roe v. Wade† although Vice President Kamala Harris said she would not support such a move.
Pelosi outlined several steps Democrats must take in response to the Court’s decision returning the issue of abortion to states, in a “Dear Colleague” letter.
Pelosi wrote that the Democratic caucus has “explored ways to protect the health and freedom of American women,” including legislation that “protects women’s most intimate and personal data stored in reproductive health apps” and “makes it clear that Americans have the constitutional right to travel freely and voluntarily throughout the United States.” She added that the House must again approve the Women’s Health Protection Act to “enshrine Roe v. Wade in the law of the land.”
“It’s clear from how Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell stacked the Supreme Court that elections have consequences,” Pelosi added. “It’s vital that we protect and expand our pro-choice Majorities in the House and Senate in November so we can eliminate the filibuster so we can restore women’s fundamental rights — and freedom for every American.”
In the meantime, Dana Bash from CNN said she asked the vice president if she would support a split from the filibuster to codify? roe deer, but Harris said she “wouldn’t go there” because the Democrats don’t have the votes.
The vice president told Bash in an interview Monday that she “couldn’t believe” that the Court “actually recognized a constitutional right that has been recognized for half a century and has taken it from the women of America,” calling the decision “shocking.” †
Bash asked Harris if the Biden administration will actively challenge state laws that make it a crime to help a woman travel to another state for an abortion.
Harris noted that President Biden has “stated quite unequivocally that through the executive branch, we will do everything in our power to ensure that women have access to the medicines they need” and that they can “travel freely.”
She later added that if a woman is prescribed pills for a chemical abortion, she should have “unlimited access to them.”
Asked whether the attorney general could expand abortion services on federal land in and around states that prohibit abortion, Harris said this is not an option currently under discussion within the government.
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) reportedly said that Washington Post reporter that the Biden administration should establish Planned Parenthood outposts on the edges of national parks.
Harris said Monday that “everyone is in danger” now that the Court has overturned the case roe and encouraged people who are parents of sons to “think about what this means for your son’s life and what this will mean in terms of the choices he will have.”
She continued: “Think about it in the context in which they wrote this decision, including a consensus that suggests other rights, such as the freedom to make decisions. † † about when to start a family, the freedom and right to make decisions about contraception, IUDs. What this will mean for in vitro fertilization.”
In his unanimous opinion, Judge Clarence Thomas wrote that the Court “should reconsider” its decisions. Griswold v. Connecticut, Lawrence v Texas, and Obergefell to Hodges, who established the right to contraception, privacy in the bedroom and same-sex marriage respectively.
Thomas’ reasoning was that the majority of the Court held that the right to abortion was not a form of “freedom” protected by the due process clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. He said the Court therefore had a duty to “correct the error” in the other three precedents, which relied on the same legal reasoning as Roe. He wrote that after “setting aside these demonstrably erroneous decisions, the question remains whether other constitutional provisions” protected the rights enshrined in the three cases.
Bash asked Harris if she believes the Supreme Court is also on track to undo those three precedents.
“I absolutely believe this isn’t over,” Harris replied. “I think he just said the silent part out loud, and I think this is why we all really need to understand the meaning of what just happened.”
Pelosi wrote in her “Dear Colleague” letter that legislation is being introduced to “further codify the freedoms Americans currently enjoy” and called Thomas’s agreement “disturbing.”
Like Pelosi, Harris underlined the importance of voting in the upcoming midterm elections to “change the balance and have pro-choice legislators with the power to make decisions about whether this constitutional right will be enacted into law.”