Sen. Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate, said national abortion legislation is “possible” if the Supreme Court strikes down Roe v. Wade
“If the leaked opinion became the final opinion, legislative bodies — not only at the state level but at the federal level — certainly could legislate in that area,” the Kentucky Republican told USA Today.
“And if this were the final decision, that was the point that it should be resolved one way or another in the legislative process. So yeah, it’s possible,”—McConnell said.
The debate over abortion rights has been taken on new emphasis since the revelation last week of a draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito that shows the court is poised to strike down the 1973 landmark decision as early as June.
In the opinion, Alito wrote that “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start” and argued that states should decide on whether to restrict abortion rights.
Some Republicans have been more critical of the leaking of the document than what’s in the decision, fearing a potential backlash at the polls during November’s 2022 midterm elections.
But the Senate minority leader said Republicans’ stand on the issue will become clearer once the Supreme Court officially acts.
“With regard to the abortion issue, I think it’s pretty clear where Senate Republicans stand. And if and when the court makes a final decision, I expect everybody will be more definitive,” he said. “But I don’t think it’s much of a secret where senator Republicans stand on that issue.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the decision an “abomination,” will call a vote on Wednesday to codify Roe v. Wade into a federal law.
But it’s unlikely to pass because the Democrats don’t have the 60 votes necessary to pass legislation in the chamber.