Warnock: Protecting access to abortion is worth eliminating filibuster

U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock said a leaked draft of a U.S. Supreme Court decision by Justice Samuel Alito could have impact beyond overturning Roe v. Wade. “This has implications not only for women and reproductive rights,” he said. “I think when you look at the framework of what Alito argues, it opens the door for revisiting or undermining all other kinds of established precedent that could impact workers, members of the LGBT community, equality of marriage and a whole range of issues like voting rights.” STEVE SCHAEFER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

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U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock said a leaked draft of a U.S. Supreme Court decision by Justice Samuel Alito could have impact beyond overturning Roe v. Wade. “This has implications not only for women and reproductive rights,” he said. “I think when you look at the framework of what Alito argues, it opens the door for revisiting or undermining all other kinds of established precedent that could impact workers, members of the LGBT community, equality of marriage and a whole range of issues like voting rights.” STEVE SCHAEFER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

WASHINGTON — Georgia U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, who is also head pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, has never been shy about supporting abortion rights.

Now, a draft of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling by Justice Samuel Alito has leaked indicating a majority of justices are prepared to curtail access to the procedure. Warnock said Congress should not let this happen.

“This has implications not only for women and reproductive rights,” he said. “I think when you look at the framework of what Alito argues, it opens the door for revisiting or undermining all other kinds of established precedent that could impact workers, members of the LGBT community, equality of marriage and a whole range of issues like voting rights.”

All 50 Democrats in the U.S. Senate are not in agreement about whether a bill establishing the right to terminate a pregnancy should be passed.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, filed legislation this week that would guarantee access to abortion and protect medical providers who perform the procedures. But even if every Democrats votes in favor, the filibuster can be used to block final action if 10 Republicans don’t join them.

Senate Leader Chuck Schumer said he will bring the bill to the floor because people deserve to know where every senator stands. He used the name of Chief Justice John Roberts to describe the Supreme Court in his remarks.

“Few issues are as personal, as private and as important to Americans as whether or not to have an abortion,” Schumer said Wednesday. “The nation will be watching to see who in this chamber will defend this precious right to choose and who will stand with the Roberts court to destroy this right in one fell swoop.”

Warnock has spoken in favor of ending the filibuster when it comes to passing a federal election law. Democrats could do that with their majority, but two moderates — U.S. Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia — do not support making the change. As a result, the voting legislation stalled.

Now, Warnock is applying the same argument to the issue of abortion rights.

“I think that no Senate rule and no Senate procedure is more important than people’s constitutional rights,” he said. “And it is our duty as one of the three co-equal branches of government to find a way to stand with the American people, 70% of which believes that it is a woman’s right to choose.”

Warnock’s Georgia counterpart, U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff, has also advocated for ending the filibuster if that means passing an election bill. And he also said this week that he supports passing a federal law that guarantees access to abortion.

But Ossoff has not yet decided whether he would support ending the filibuster to make that happen.

“Sen. Ossoff will carefully review any proposed rule changes carefully,” his spokesman said.

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