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 WarrenHarris tops Biden in California 2020 poll The Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment Democrats fret over Trump cash machine 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.


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 TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist 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 GarlandDem senators demand GOP judicial group discloses donors John Legend: Republicans play to win, Biden plays to impress the media Biden says he opposes expanding the Supreme Court 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 KavanaughThe Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment Former Justice John Paul Stevens dies at age 99 Robert De Niro nominated for Emmy for 'SNL' role playing Robert Mueller 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.