Politicians are calling for the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade to be codified into law following last week’s activity of the Supreme Court, where the justices heard arguments regarding a Mississippi pro-life law.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) posted an old video of himself as a candidate on Twitter, saying, “The people of Vermont must have a representative who is a strong and unequivocal supporter of women’s rights.”
He added, “We must pass legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land. And if there aren’t 60 votes to do it, and there are not, we must reform the filibuster to pass it with 50.”
We can’t go back to the days when women had to risk their lives to end an unwanted pregnancy. We must pass legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land. And if there aren’t 60 votes to do it, and there are not, we must reform the filibuster to pass it with 50. pic.twitter.com/FNRsYED5Ct
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) December 4, 2021
Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) made a similar point over the weekend on “Meet the Press.”
Klobuchar discussed Justice Elena Kagan’s points concerning Roe, and said, “This is how our country protected rights and now they’re willing to just flip it on its head. And so what is the answer? The answer may well be doing it through the political process now.”
She added, “I don’t think that’s the right thing to do but it may be the way to do it and I think the best way to do it is not a patchwork of state laws but to put it, codify Roe v. Wade, put it into law and we even have some pro-choice Republicans that have signaled interest in doing that.”
Democratic Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) joined the discussion, tweeting, “All three of my daughters were born after Roe v. Wade – it’s unfathomable that they could soon live in a world where they would have fewer protected rights than when they were born. It’s time to codify abortion access in law.”
All three of my daughters were born after Roe v. Wade – it’s unfathomable that they could soon live in a world where they would have fewer protected rights than when they were born.
It’s time to codify abortion access in law.
— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) December 6, 2021
Last week, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) reportedly commented on the possibility of creating a law regarding Roe, as well.
“Senator Collins supports the right to an abortion and believes that the protections in the Roe and Casey decisions should be passed into law. She has had some conversations with her colleagues about this and is open to further discussions,” a spokeswoman said, per NBC News.
In September, the House of Representatives voted to pass a bill “creating a statutory right to abortion,” The Daily Wire reported.
The bill explicitly protects both a woman’s right to procure an abortion and a physician’s right to perform abortions “without any number of limitations that states and opponents of the procedure have sought to impose,” according to The Washington Post.
The measure appears to grant a right to abortion up until the moment a baby is born, though Roe v. Wade guarantees the right to an abortion only through fetal viability, typically between 21 and 24 weeks of pregnancy. The bill, CNN noted, does not contain a “prohibition on abortion after fetal viability” and leaves the decision of whether to perform a late term-abortion to “the good-faith medical judgment of the treating health care provider” who could determine that “continuation of the pregnancy would pose a risk to the pregnant patient’s life or health,” even if the child is viable.
When the Supreme Court agreed to hear the Mississippi case, it said it would consider the question of “Whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional,” meaning that with this decision, they could rule that states can make their own laws regarding abortion again — even possibly banning it up to the point of conception. The high court could give power back to the states to restrict abortion as they were able to do prior to the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.
There are currently at least 21 states that have pro-life laws or constitutional amendments that would make them highly likely to move to prohibit almost all abortions in their states if Roe is overturned.
There are an additional five states that would probably prohibit abortion as soon as they could. According to the Guttmacher Institute, these states include Florida, Indiana, Montana, Nebraska, and Wyoming.