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Abortion fight pits Democrats against Republicans

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(NewsNation) —President Joe Biden assailed the Supreme Court’s expected decision to overturn the nation’s marquee abortion law Roe v. Wade as “radical,” while lawmakers from D.C. and states across the U.S. reacted to the Supreme Court leak that has fractured public opinion.

A draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito indicated the court’s decision to overturn Roe V. Wade, which could lead to abortion being outlawed in almost half of the states, leaked out of the Supreme Court on Monday night and was made public by Politico.

Biden and other D.C. Democrats, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, blasted the expected overturning of Roe V. Wade, which in 1973 legalized abortion in the United States.

“If the court does overturn Roe, it will fall on our nation’s elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman’s right to choose,” Biden said. “And it will fall on voters to elect pro-choice officials this November. At the federal level, we will need more pro-choice senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to adopt legislation that codifies Roe, which I will work to pass and sign into law.”

Warren said the draft opinion was an example of an “extremist Supreme Court.”

“I am furious, furious that Republicans could be this cruel, that the Supreme Court could be this heartless,” said Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer, Democratic leaders in the House and Senate, issued a joint statement calling the decision an “abomination” and “one of the worst and most damaging decisions in modern history.”

Congressional Republicans focused on attacking the leak rather than celebrating the court’s decision.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the leak a “stunning breach” in a statement and accused Democrats of trying to use public opinion to “bully” justices.

“By every indication, this was yet another escalation in the radical left’s ongoing campaign to bully and intimidate federal judges and substitute mob rule for the rule of law,” McConnell’s statement said.

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said her trust in the nation’s highest court was “rocked” by the leak.

In states such as Missouri and North Dakota however, Republican lawmakers celebrated the court’s draft decision and already began putting plans in motion to restrict access to abortions in their states.

Missouri’s Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt said Tuesday that he would take immediate action to ban abortions in his state if the Supreme Court follows through overturning the law.

“If we’re successful and Roe v. Wade is overturned, I’m prepared to immediately issue the opinion that would protect the unborn in Missouri,” Schmitt said.

In North Dakota, a law passed by the state legislature in 2007 that makes it a felony to perform an abortion unless necessary to prevent the woman’s death or in cases of rape or incest, will likely go into affect if the Supreme Court sticks with its decision.

Other Republican lawmakers merely celebrated the court’s draft.

“I can’t stop crying,” said Mississippi state Rep. Becky Currie, who sponsored the 2018 law that is the basis for the Supreme Court case. “I am not quite sure I have the words to express how I feel right now, but God has had his hands on that bill since the beginning.”

Leaders in Democratic run states including California and Illinois vowed to protect abortion rights in their state following news of the leaked document.

Illinois’ Democratic Gov. J.B. Prtizker tweeted Monday night, ” Hell no! In Illinois we trust women. We cannot let their most profound and personal rights be violated.”

“Today, we begin to show you how ready we are to fight back,” Pritzker said in a news conference Tuesday. “Illinois is a beacon of hope in an increasingly dark world.”

Led by Gov. Gavin Newsome, Democrats in California promised to introduce a constitutional amendment, intended for the ballot in November, that would “enshrine the right to choose” in California.

In swing states including Wisconsin, Democrats and Republicans are gearing up for fights over abortion rights in their state.

“It’s about time!” Republican gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch tweeted Monday.

Democrats in Wisconsin called on lawmakers in D.C. to act soon to protect abortion rights.

“Democrats need to act today,” Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, a Senate candidate, tweeted Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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