U.S. Senators comment on leaked draft opinion on abortion case

Senate Democrats gathered Tuesday at the Capitol to call for unity in upholding protections for reproductive rights.

Democratic U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell, left, and Patty Murray of Washington

The political leaders, including Washington’s Sen. Patty Murray and Sen. Maria Cantwell, made their remarks in response to the leaked draft majority opinion on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which would roll back on abortion care precedent established by Roe v. Wade. Many of them noted that its ruling would render women from this generation with “fewer rights than their mothers.”

The representatives urged Americans to continue fighting for reproductive rights.

“We will not be still. We will not be silent. We will not back down,” Murray said. “And to those who haven’t felt the weight of this moment yet, who don’t think this could happen, who don’t think it matter to them – it’s time to wake up.”

“We are going to fight in the United States Senate to make sure that every American understands that 50 years of settled law, 50 years of Republican nominees coming before the committee and saying that they believe this is settled law, to now foist on the American public an invasion of their rights to privacy and pretend that those rights of privacy do not exist in the Constitution,” Cantwell said.

They echoed the potential dangers associated with invalidating the Roe v. Wade decision, including making abortions unsafe and disproportionately affecting those who have a low-income.

Both Murray and Cantwell joined 46 Democrats in the Senate and 188 in the U.S. House to file a bicameral amicus brief in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, reasoning with the Supreme Court for the protection of a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion.

Murray, who is seeking a sixth term this fall, has a likely Republican challenger who holds anti-abortion beliefs: Tiffany Smiley. According to the candidate’s campaign, she will not comment on a draft opinion that has not been finalized. Once the Supreme Court provides its final majority decision, Smiley will comment on the matter. In the meantime:

“The leaked draft opinion is clearly an attempt to further politicize and influence the Supreme Court,” said Elisa Carlson, Smiley’s press secretary.

Although the draft hasn’t been finalized, its contents shed light on a likely reality for reproductive care. The Supreme Court has sessions scheduled over the next two months to provide rulings in unresolved cases, including  Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Lauren Ellenbecker

Lauren Ellenbecker

Lauren Ellenbecker is a politics reporter for The Columbian.

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