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 WarrenDemocrats seize on Trump's firing of intelligence community watchdog Biden says his administration could help grow 'bench' for Democrats Overnight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill 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 TrumpPelosi eyes end of April to bring a fourth coronavirus relief bill to the floor NBA to contribute 1 million surgical masks to NY essential workers Private equity firm with ties to Kushner asks Trump administration to relax rules on loan program: report 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 GarlandDC wine bar loses appeal in lawsuit against Trump hotel Mitch McConnell may win the impeachment and lose the Senate The Trumpification of the federal courts 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 KavanaughProgressive group knocks McConnell for talking judicial picks during coronavirus Trump nominates former Kavanaugh clerk for influential appeals court Coronavirus isn't the only reason Congress should spend less time in DC 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.