Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (pictured at the Capitol on Tuesday) says a federal abortion ban is 'possible' if the Supreme Court rules to overturn Roe v. Wade
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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says a federal abortion ban is ‘possible’ if the Supreme Court rules to overturn Roe v. Wade.

‘If the leaked opinion became the final opinion, legislative bodies – not only at the state level but at the federal level – certainly could legislate in that area,’ McConnell, of Kentucky, told USA Today on Thursday. 

‘And if this were the final decision, that was the point that it should be resolved one way or another in the legislative process. So yeah, it’s possible.’ 

However, McConnell remained cautious when addressing whether Republicans would pass abortion banning legislation if they were to win back the Senate in the upcoming midterm election.

‘With regard to the abortion issue, I think it’s pretty clear where Senate Republicans stand,’ he added. ‘And if and when the court makes a final decision, I expect everybody will be more definitive. But I don’t think it’s much secret where Senate Republicans stand on that issue.’ 

McConnell’s remarks come in response to a Supreme Court draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito that revealed that the court has voted to strike down the landmark 1973 ruling Rove v. Wade, which legalized abortion in the United States.

The draft opinion, which was published by POLITICO on Monday, comes amid nearly 50 years of federal abortion protections and could change before the ruling is finalized in coming weeks. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (pictured at the Capitol on Tuesday) says a federal abortion ban is 'possible' if the Supreme Court rules to overturn Roe v. Wade

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (pictured at the Capitol on Tuesday) says a federal abortion ban is ‘possible’ if the Supreme Court rules to overturn Roe v. Wade

Democrats have expressed great disapproval of the SCOTUS opinion, alleging overturning Roe v. Wade would be ‘one of the worst and most damaging decisions in modern history’.

President Joe Biden, in a statement issued hours after the leak, said women have a ‘fundamental’ right to an abortion and called on American voters to ‘elect pro-choice officials this November.’

He also pledged the White House would be ‘ready when any ruling is issued.’ 

Biden reasserted his position after SCOTUS confirmed the draft was authentic late on Tuesday morning, telling reporters it was ‘really quite a radical decision’ and ‘a fundamental shift in American jurisprudence.’

President Joe Biden (pictured in Ohio on Friday), in a statement issued hours after the leak, said women have a 'fundamental' right to an abortion and called on American voters to 'elect pro-choice officials this November'

President Joe Biden (pictured in Ohio on Friday), in a statement issued hours after the leak, said women have a ‘fundamental’ right to an abortion and called on American voters to ‘elect pro-choice officials this November’

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to force a vote this upcoming week to codify Roe v. Wade. He is pictured in Washington DC on Tuesday

Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (pictured in Washington state on Wednesday) issued a joint statement alleging the 'Supreme Court is poised to inflict the greatest restriction of rights in the past fifty years'

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (left) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (right) issued a joint statement alleging the ‘Supreme Court is poised to inflict the greatest restriction of rights in the past fifty years’

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday issued a joint statement addressing abortion rights.

‘If the report is accurate, the Supreme Court is poised to inflict the greatest restriction of rights in the past fifty years – not just on women but on all Americans,’ the pair penned. 

‘The Republican-appointed Justices’ reported votes to overturn Roe v. Wade would go down as an abomination, one of the worst and most damaging decisions in modern history.’ 

Schumer then said on Tuesday he would force a vote this upcoming week to codify Roe v. Wade. 

‘A vote on this legislation is not an abstract exercise. This is as urgent and real as it gets. We’ll vote to protect a women’s right to choose,’ he tweeted.

However, analysts predict the vote will fall short because the measure doesn’t have the necessary 60 votes to advance. Regardless, Democrats remain eager to get the GOP’s votes on record ahead of the midterms, likely to further their efforts to sway Americans to vote blue.

Similarly, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee issued a statement Saturday citing McConnell’s USA Today interview in an effort to fire up its base.

‘Mitch McConnell confirmed what voters have long known: Republicans will use every tool they can, from the courts to Congress, to make abortion illegal everywhere and strip away a woman’s right to make our own decisions,’ the statement read. 

‘For voters, the stakes of protecting and expanding our Democratic Senate majority in 2022 have never been higher.’

Abortion-rights protesters hold signs during demonstration outside of the U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday

Abortion-rights protesters hold signs during demonstration outside of the U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday

Anti-abortion protesters hold a demonstration across the street from the U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday

Anti-abortion protesters hold a demonstration across the street from the U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday

Abortion rights demonstrators protest in front of the U.S. Supreme Court Building on Tuesday

Abortion rights demonstrators protest in front of the U.S. Supreme Court Building on Tuesday

Protestors on both sides of the abortion debate demonstrate in D.C. following the leaked draft of the Court's potential decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. A group of pro-choice demonstrators are pictured on Thursday

Protestors on both sides of the abortion debate demonstrate in D.C. following the leaked draft of the Court’s potential decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. A group of pro-choice demonstrators are pictured on Thursday

Meanwhile, abortion rights protesters rallied across the U.S. on Saturday, vowing to fight to ensure that abortion remains a legal option for women nationwide. 

In the nation’s capital, abortion rights protesters stood outside the Supreme Court, holding signs that said abortion is a human right, or ‘Abort the Court.’

Protesters who opposed abortion demonstrated across the street. 

In Maryland, demonstrators rallied outside the homes of conservative Justices John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh, shouting ‘you don’t care if people die’ and ‘keep abortion safe and legal.’

Liberal group ShutDown D.C. already plans to host a ‘Vigil for Abortion Rights’ outside of Justice Alito’s house on Monday.

Next Saturday, America is expecting a ‘massive’ day of action with nationwide rallies organized by Planned Parenthood, UltraViolet, Women’s March and MoveOn.

The protest, dubbed Bans Off Our Bodies, will feature marches in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington D.C., as well as hundreds of demonstrations in other cities across the U.S.

Demonstrator Hannah Yost shares personal testimony on Thursday as she rallies with other people for abortion rights after an anti-climb protective fence was installed outside of the U.S. Supreme Court building in D.C.

Demonstrator Hannah Yost shares personal testimony on Thursday as she rallies with other people for abortion rights after an anti-climb protective fence was installed outside of the U.S. Supreme Court building in D.C.

Police surround an anti-abortion demonstrator on Wednesday as abortion-rights advocates protest outside the Supreme Court Building in D.C.

Police surround an anti-abortion demonstrator on Wednesday as abortion-rights advocates protest outside the Supreme Court Building in D.C.

Demonstrators in support of reproductive rights protest outside of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's home in Chevy Chase, Maryland on Saturday

Demonstrators in support of reproductive rights protest outside of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home in Chevy Chase, Maryland on Saturday

Protesters gathered outside Justice Brett Kavanaugh's house on Saturday, screaming: 'We will not go back!'

Protesters gathered outside Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s house on Saturday, screaming: ‘We will not go back!’

Furious pro-choice protesters screamed 'you don't care if people die' while picketing the house of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on Saturday

Furious pro-choice protesters screamed ‘you don’t care if people die’ while picketing the house of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on Saturday

WHAT IS ROE V. WADE?

The Roe v. Wade decision nearly 50 years ago recognized that the right to personal privacy under the US Constitution protects a woman’s ability to terminate her pregnancy.

On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court decided that the constitutional right to privacy applied to abortion.

Roe was ‘Jane Roe,’ a pseudonym for Norma McCorvey, a single mother pregnant for the third time, who wanted an abortion.

She sued the Dallas attorney general Henry Wade over a Texas law that made it a crime to terminate a pregnancy except in cases of rape or incest, or when the mother’s life was in danger.

Roe’s lawyers said she was unable to travel out of the state to obtain an abortion and argued that the law was too vague and infringed on her constitutional rights.

Filing a complaint alongside her was Texas doctor James Hallford, who argued the law’s medical provision was vague, and that he was unable to reliably determine which of his patients fell into the allowed category.

The ‘Does’, another couple who were childless, also filed a companion complaint, saying that medical risks made it unsafe but not life-threatening for the wife to carry a pregnancy to term, and arguing they should be able to obtain a safe, legal abortion should she become pregnant.

The trio of complaints – from a woman who wanted an abortion, a doctor who wanted to perform them and a non-pregnant woman who wanted the right if the need arose – ultimately reached the nation’s top court.

The court heard arguments twice, and then waited until after Republican president Richard Nixon’s re-election, in November 1972.

Only the following January did it offer its historic seven-to-two decision – overturning the Texas laws and setting a legal precedent that has had ramifications in all 50 states.

The leaked draft was written by Justice Samuel Alito, one of the six justices appointed by a Republican president who sit on the court, and repudiated both Roe v Wade and the 1992 Planned Parenthood vs Casey Decision. 

If and when the draft is made final, the decision removes the federal right to abortion in America, leaving it up to elected officials in each state to decide whether or not women should have access to abortions. 

Twenty-six states are likely to ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is formally overturned, essentially outlawing abortion in more than half of the country. Eighteen states already have restrictive abortion laws in place. 

The news sent shock waves throughout Washington D.C. with Democrats vowing to codify the legal right to an abortion into law and Republicans demanding an investigation into the leak, claiming it was done to try and influence the high court ahead of its formal ruling. 

Perhaps anticipating backlash, the Supreme Court building initially was barricaded Monday night before being watched by security. 

Protesters eventually headed toward the gates in large numbers, with some standing up and chanting, while others sat outside the building and lit candles in silence. A small number of counter-protesters also gathered. 

‘Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,’ Alito writes in the draft opinion, which was crafted in February and circulated among the court members.  ‘We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,’ he continues in the document, titled ‘Opinion of the Court.’ 

‘It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.’

Aside from Alito, four other judges voted in favor of overturning the law: Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, all of whom were nominated by Republican presidents. 

This is also the first such case in modern history of a Supreme Court draft decision being leaked to the public while the case was still pending.

Sometimes drafts are circulated by one justice in the hopes of swaying fellow judges but this is believed to be the first time a draft has been leaked. 

A draft is not final until the court formally announces its decision in a case, meaning the ruling could be changed. The court is expected to issue its final ruling before its term is up in late June or early July.

Republican appointed-Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett all voted to strike down Roe with Samuel Alito

Republican appointed-Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett all voted to strike down Roe with Samuel Alito

The beginning of the original leaked draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito

The beginning of the original leaked draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito

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