Schumer seizes on SCOTUS leak in push for Senate vote on abortion rights

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News


Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is hoping to gain traction for Democrats ahead of the midterms in the wake of a leaked Supreme Court opinion draft to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The New York Democrat says he will force a vote next week to codify abortion rights into federal law in a direct challenge to Republicans, whom he says want to destroy women’s rights, according to reporting by the New York Times and Politico, publisher of the leaked opinion. The measure would also bar all 50 states from outlawing infanticide even into the third trimester of pregnancy, when a baby can survive outside of the womb.

The United States is currently only one of seven countries that allows abortions after 20-weeks. The only other countries that allow for late-term abortions are Canada, China, Netherlands, North Korea, Singapore, and Vietnam.

Schumer is calling next Wednesday’s vote one of the most important of the century and has accused the GOP of complicity and cowardice in their response to the leak. Most Republican lawmakers have refrained from openly celebrating the draft opinion and instead have focused their attention on the egregiousness of the unprecedented leak from the highest court in the nation.

“Senate Republicans spent years packing our courts with right-wing judges,” Schumer said in a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday. “Will they now own up to the harm they’ve caused, or will they try to undo the damage? The vote next week will tell.”

He added, “Republicans can run but they can’t hide from the damage they’ve created.”

Schumer’s urgent call for the vote is widely seen as a naked attempt to send a political message ahead of the November midterms, since the measure is doomed to fail. The bill is all but guaranteed to be blocked by GOP senators, which means it would fall short of the 60 votes required to bypass a filibuster. It is also unlikely to garner a simple majority in the 50-50 Senate, given that Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who is a pro-life Democrat, has reiterated that he remains opposed to ending the filibuster.

Democrats are seizing upon the opportunity presented by the leak to foment voter backlash against pro-choice Republicans in an effort to retain their control of the House and Senate. Innumerable pundits and politicians on both sides of the aisle have been predicting a GOP victory in November amid voter frustration over soaring inflation, crime, and an unprecedented border crisis under the Biden administration. Dems are banking on support from swing voters and college-educated suburban women, including Republican voters, who may not approve of GOP opposition to abortion rights.

Schumer does not appear to have a plan concerning what Democrats will do if the measure fails, as is expected. When pressed on the topic, he said only that “The first step is to have a vote in the Senate.”