Warren calls for Congress to pass federal laws protecting Roe v. Wade

Warren calls for Congress to pass federal laws protecting Roe v. Wade
© Greg Nash

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenGillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign CEO pay rising twice as fast as worker pay: AP Senate Democrats to House: Tamp down the impeachment talk MORE (D-Mass.) joined the charge on Friday for federal legislation protecting the right to an abortion.

Warren and several other Democratic presidential candidates have offered their support for legislation as several states have passed restrictive laws on abortion.

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Alabama's governor this week signed into law legislation that would impose prison sentences up to 99 years on doctors who perform abortions, including in cases of rape and incest.

"Roe v. Wade established a woman’s constitutional right to safe and legal abortion and has been the law of the land for over 46 years," Warren wrote in a Medium post

"These extremist Republican lawmakers know what the law is — but they don’t care. They want to turn back the clock, outlaw abortion, and deny women access to reproductive health care. And they are hoping the Supreme Court will back their radical play," she continued.

A number of legal observers have predicted a lower court will strike down the Alabama state law, and a number of Republicans who are otherwise anti-abortion rights have criticized the legislation.  

The authors of the Alabama bill publicly said they hoped their legislation would lead the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. President TrumpDonald John TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE's appointment of two conservative justices has energized opponents of abortion, who believe they have a majority on the court that might restrict abortion rights.

In her Medium post, Warren accused Republicans of stealing a Supreme Court seat with the confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch in 2017. Gorsuch replaced Justice Antonin Scalia after Republicans in 2016 refused to even give a hearing to President Obama's nominee, Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian Garland2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests Merrick Garland, denied Supreme Court spot, on court set to consider Trump subpoena appeal  Warren calls for Congress to pass federal laws protecting Roe v. Wade MORE.

"I’ll be blunt: It just might work. President Trump has packed the courts with extreme, anti-choice judges. Senate Republicans stole a Supreme Court seat and rammed through the confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh last year in order to cement an anti-choice majority on the Supreme Court," she wrote, referring to Trump's other Supreme Court pick, Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughMurkowski celebrates birthday with electric scooter ride Graham urges Trump not to abandon infrastructure talks with Democrats 2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests MORE.

"Even if the Supreme Court doesn’t overrule Roe immediately, it could use these laws as an excuse to continue chipping away at this precedent," Warren said.

Warren went on to call for federal laws that would enshrine the decision outlined in Roe as federal law, as well as other measures to stop state efforts aimed at restricting abortion.