'Five-alarm fire': leaked abortion memo from Supreme Court has lawmakers, candidates reacting
WASHINGTON – Lawmakers and congressional candidates wasted little time Monday reacting to the news of a draft Supreme Court opinion published by Politico suggesting the court is considering a decision that would overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a constitutional right to abortion.
The issue of abortion was already a hot-button issue in key races across the country in advance of November's mid-term elections.
But the report that the high court was potentially closer to reversing the nearly 50-year-old ruling – and letting states decide what abortion restrictions to enact – sparked outrage from progressives and cheers from conservatives running in state and federal elections nationwide.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., issued a joint statement saying "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," if the report is acurate.
“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," they said.
Here's what some other lawmakers and candidates in key races had to say or tweet Monday night:
Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H.:
"The 50-year precedent set by Roe v. Wade is on the verge of being overturned. If reports are true, SCOTUS' opinion would have catastrophic consequences for millions of Americans. We will not be pulled backward – we must codify Roe now."
More:Abortion: Four clues the Supreme Court is heading toward a major shift on Roe v. Wade
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo.:
"I will say, if this is the Court’s opinion, it’s a heck of an opinion. Voluminously researched, tightly argued, and morally powerful."
Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga.:
"As a pro-choice pastor, I’ve always believed that a patient's room is way too small for a woman, her doctor, and the United States government. I'll always fight to protect a woman's right to choose. And that will never change."
Tudor Dixon, GOP gubernatorial candidate, Michigan:
"We have come a long way since the Roe v. Wade decision. Technology allows us to see our baby before birth. Miraculous medical developments now make it possible for babies to survive outside the womb far earlier than when that decision was made. Truly, so much has changed. But what has never changed is the preciousness of life."
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.:
“If this is true, this kind of outcome is exactly what I've been ringing alarm bells about – and this is a five-alarm fire. Republicans' goal has always been to ban abortion: they’re already banning abortion in state legislatures across the country, they’re fighting for a federal ban right here in the Senate, and plan to overturn Roe in the Supreme Court too."
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah:
"I hope and pray that what appears to be Justice Alito's well-written and well-reasoned draft in fact reflects the majority view of the Court."
Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Pa., candidate for Senate:
"If Dems lose in PA, Congress may never save Roe. Poor women will suffer most. I voted to put Roe into law, I'm endorsed by @NationalNOW, & I've voted 100% pro-choice while winning in GOP districts. That's my record. If I'm your nominee I'll give you the campaign you deserve."
Dave White, GOP gubernatorial candidate, Pennsylvania:
“With the decision returning the issue of abortion to the elected representatives of the people it is more important than ever to defeat the unabashedly pro-abortion Josh Shapiro. No other candidate is in as strong of a position to do so than me and my top priority as Governor of Pennsylvania will be to ensure that every life is welcomed and valued in our Commonwealth.”
More:In Nevada, a potential Supreme Court ruling on abortion rights could upend a Senate battle
Cheri Beasley, Democratic Senate candidate, North Carolina:
"If confirmed, the moment we have feared and fought against has come. As the former Chief Justice of the NC Supreme Court, I know that abortion is a fundamental right – and I will not stop fighting to protect that freedom. Congress must take action and codify Roe v. Wade NOW."
Lucas Kunce. Democratic Senate candidate, Missouri:
"It is fundamentally necessary that the U.S. Congress codify Roe v. Wade immediately. If they won’t, we need to replace them."