Updated May 2, 2022 - 10:56 pm
WASHINGTON — Congressional reaction was swift Monday over a published report that the Supreme Court is prepared to overturn abortion rights law that has stood for half a century.
A draft report suggests that a majority of the nine-member court is prepared to overturn Roe v. Wade, which made abortion legal in 1973. The draft of a ruling was written by Justice Samuel Alito and published by Politico.
Although the Supreme Court is not expected to deliver a final ruling until as early as June, the report went viral due to its impact on abortion rights that would ban the procedure in some states and likely become a major issue in the upcoming midterm elections.
“While I hope this isn’t the Supreme Court’s final decision, recent reports suggesting it plans to limit reproductive rights for millions of women across the nation are alarming,” said Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, in a statement.
“In Nevada, we’ve made sure the government stays out of the personal decision of if, when, and how to start a family — just as it should be,” Sisolak said.
As long as I’m Governor, I’ll do everything in my power to protect a woman’s right to choose.
— Steve Sisolak (@SteveSisolak) May 3, 2022
Nevada would not be affected by the Supreme Court ruling to overturn the precedent law of 1973, because the right was codified by statute in 1990. Several states have taken that action as well, but other states, particularly those in the South, would be bound by a ruling.
The Supreme Court is weighing cases brought by Mississippi and Texas that would restrict termination of a fetus to a matter of weeks after conception.
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., who faces a competitive reelection challenge this year, has made abortion rights and women’s health care a central theme in her campaign.
She did not comment on the published report.
Two potential opponents, Republicans Adam Laxalt and Sam Brown, are both pro-life candidates.
Meanwhile, Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., said such a ruling would be “devastating.”
“If reports of the Supreme Court moving to overturn Roe v. Wade are true, it would be devastating for women all across our country. These unprecedented and dangerous attacks on reproductive rights can’t go unanswered,” Rosen said.
If reports of the Supreme Court moving to overturn Roe v. Wade are true, it would be devastating for women all across our country.⁰⁰These unprecedented and dangerous attacks on reproductive rights can’t go unanswered. It’s time to codify Roe into law.
— Senator Jacky Rosen (@SenJackyRosen) May 3, 2022
Rep. Dina Titus D-Nev., said that Roe is a fundamental right for a woman to choose. “We can not let that be taken away.”
“I call on the Senate to end the filibuster and pass the Women’s Health Protection Act NOW,” Titus tweeted on social media.
I support Roe, which provides the fundamental right for women to choose. We cannot let it be taken away.
I call on the Senate to end the filibuster and pass the Women’s Health Protection Act NOW. https://t.co/sg4qRTq5yS
— Dina Titus (@repdinatitus) May 3, 2022
The Senate has voted on the act before, but fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance it to the floor for a vote for passage.
Despite the partisan wrangling, Rep. Susie Lee, D-Nev., said the decades-old law is supported by Americans and Nevadans, alike.
“While this decision is not final, it would be an outrageous break with 50 years of precedent,” Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., said in a statement. “Nevadans voted to enshrine protections in our state Constitution that safeguard a woman’s right to a safe, legal abortion by an overwhelming margin in 1990.”
I am deeply troubled by reports that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade in the coming months. While this decision is not final, it would be an outrageous break with 50 years of precedent. (1/3)🧵
— Rep. Steven Horsford (@RepHorsford) May 3, 2022
The issue has become front and center of the cultural war, with conservatives pushing a pro-life agenda and former President Donald Trump appointing three justices to the high court — Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett — considered votes to overturn the law.
Nonetheless, conservatives hold a 6-3 majority on the court under Chief Justice John Roberts, now considered a swing vote who could still reconsider the draft.
In a joint statement, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said if the report is accurate, “the Supreme Court is poised to inflict the greatest restriction of rights in the past fifty years – not just on women but on all Americans.”
“The Republican-appointed Justices’ reported votes to overturn Roe v. Wade would go down as an abomination, one of the worst and most damaging decisions in modern history,” they said.
Contact Gary Martin at email@example.com. Follow @garymartindc on Twitter.