Ocasio-Cortez: Scrapping filibuster over abortion rights ‘shouldn’t be a difficult decision’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is seen outside the House Chamber as the House conducts the first votes of the week on Monday, July 19, 2021.
Greg Nash

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) decried a restrictive abortion law that went into effect in Texas on Wednesday, citing it as a call to action for progressives to challenge the legislative filibuster in the Senate. 

“Republicans promised to overturn Roe v Wade, and they have,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Wednesday night. “Democrats can either abolish the filibuster and expand the court, or do nothing as millions of peoples’ bodies, rights, and lives are sacrificed for far-right minority rule.” 

“This shouldn’t be a difficult decision,” the progressive congresswoman from New York City added.


A sharply divided Supreme Court late on Wednesday opted not to block the Texas law, which places a ban on most abortions and allows a reporting system through which private citizens in the state can sue abortion providers. 
Critics of the law argue it violates the constitutional right to abortion established in Roe v. Wade, which prohibits states from banning the procedure before a fetus is viable, typically around 24 weeks of pregnancy. 
Since the party retook control of the Senate earlier this year, progressive Democrats have attacked the legislative filibuster, saying the procedural hurdle allows Republicans to stand in the way of meaningful change on issues of importance to the party like expanding voting rights, health care reform and combating climate change. 
But several moderate Democrats in the Senate, like Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), have voiced support for the legislative filibuster, drawing the ire of progressives like Ocasio-Cortez in their party. 
President Biden on Wednesday also criticized the Texas abortion law, calling it “extreme” and warning it will “impair women’s access to the health care they need, particularly for communities of color and individuals with low incomes.” 

“Outrageously, it deputizes private citizens to bring lawsuits against anyone who they believe has helped another person get an abortion, which might even include family members, health care workers, front desk staff at a health care clinic, or strangers with no connection to the individual,” Biden said. “My administration is deeply committed to the constitutional right established in Roe v. Wade nearly five decades ago and will protect and defend that right.” 

Biden, the nation’s second Catholic president, has said he personally opposes abortion but supports a women’s right to terminate her pregnancy and does not believe in government’s intervention in that decision. 
The president, who spent decades as a lawmaker in the upper chamber, has also said he believes the filibuster needs to be reformed but has not voiced support for abolishing it.  
Tags Abortion Abortion law Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Filibuster Joe Biden Joe Manchin Kyrsten Sinema Roe v. Wade

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