Sen. Chuck Schumer on Sunday said if they don't ratify Roe vs. Wade into federal law later this week they will seek to flip Republican senate seats in November. Photo courtesy of Sen. Chuck Schumer/Twitter
May 9 (UPI) -- Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called a draft opinion leaked last week that would overturn Roe vs. Wade an "abomination" as members of his party seek to secure support to codify the abortion protections into federal law in a vote scheduled for later this week.
Schumer made to comment during a press conference held Sunday in which he said he will file cloture the next day, setting up a vote Wednesday on the Women's Health Protection Act of 2022 that would enshrine into federal law the right to abortion.
Senate Democrats are seeking votes for the bill after it passed the House in September, but it is expected to be blocked by the Republicans as it needs 50 votes to pass by a simple majority in the divided Senate and 60 to avoid a filibuster.
The renewed attention on the bill comes in the wake of a draft Supreme Court decision signed by five conservative-leaning justices overturning the landmark 1973 Roe vs Wade decision that legalized abortion was leaked to the press last week, sparking anger and protests from women's rights advocates nationwide.
The draft decision was also published amid an ongoing Republican push to ban the medical procedure at the state level.
"We are not going to let a bunch of extreme Supreme Court justices or extreme right-wing politicians take away the rights of a hundred-million American women," he said.
The New York senator called the leaked decision an "abomination" and if enacted will be one of the worst decisions the Supreme Court has ever issued.
"It would mean that our children would have less rights than our parents. That is simply unAmerican to take rights away, particularly such vital rights -- A woman's right to healthcare, a woman's right to control her own body, a woman's right to decide whether she wants to have an abortion and not be told by some outsiders how to treat her body, her health and her life," he said.
Seemingly in reference to the obstacle the bill has to surmount in the Senate, Schumer said the vote will show the American public where each senator stands on this issue.
Concerning if Republicans will cross the aisle and vote in favor of the bill, Schumer said they haven't in the past but that was when the issue was an abstract issue.
Sen. Kirsten GIllibrand warned Sunday in a CNN State of the Union interview that they are in "the biggest fight of a generation" and if the public doesn't join the battle "we will lose the basic right to make decisions, to have bodily autonomy and to decide what our futures look like."
She said they are going to be aggressive ahead of the vote to get Roe vs. Wade codified on Wednesday and to ensure voters know who supports women's rights ahead of elections in November.
"We need to make sure that every single voter understands that the Republican Party and Mitch McConnell does not believe that their daughters, that their mothers, that their sisters have rights to make fundamental life and death decisions," she said, referring to the Republican Senate leader from Kentucky. "We're half-citizens under this ruling, and if this is put into law, it changes the foundation of America."
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., warned that if Roe. vs. Wade is overturned states nationwide will fast move to ban abortions.
"The fall will be swift," she said in a Sunday interview with ABC's This Week.
Klobuchar said that they will do "everything" possible to pass the law on Wednesday but if they can't flip senate Republicans on the Senate floor they'll seek to flip their seats in November.
"If we are not successful, then we go to the ballot box. We march straight to the ballot box," she said. "And the women of this country and the men who stand with them will vote like they've never voted before because this is 50 years of rights in a leaked opinion where Justice Alito is literally not just taking us back to the 1950s, he's taking us to the 1850s," she said, referring to Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito who wrote the draft opinion.
According to experts with the Guttmacher Institute, which is a research and policy organization dedicated to advancing reproductive health and rights, 26 states are either certain or likely to swiftly move to ban abortion.