Pro-choice Republicans are interested in codifying abortion protections into law as the Supreme Court considers overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, according to Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota Democrat.
Ms. Klobuchar told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that she does not want to leave decisions about abortion up to the states but make abortion protections afforded through Roe cemented in federal law.
“I think the best way to do it is not a patchwork of state laws, but to codify Roe v. Wade, put it into law,” Ms. Klobuchar said.’ “And we even have some pro-choice Republicans that have signaled interest in doing that.”
Ms. Klobuchar did not name the Republican lawmakers she thinks would cross party lines to preserve abortion protections.
While the Senate is divided 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats, Ms. Klobuchar made clear she does not think Democrats need a filibuster-proof majority to codify abortion protections into federal law. She said she supports abolishing the Senate’s 60-vote filibuster threshold but argued that a simple rule change may be all that is needed.
“How would you change the rule for codifying Roe?” asked NBC’s Chuck Todd.
“Well, this would be some change to the Senate rules and it most likely would not be this particular issue,” Ms. Klobuchar said. “Right now, we’re really focused on voting rights.”
Policymakers’ new attention to abortion restrictions and protections comes amid the Supreme Court’s review of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization involving Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The high court heard oral arguments in the case last week, and is expected to issue a decision next year.
Republicans have emphasized that overturning Roe would not eliminate abortion protections and access across the country. Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves told CNN on Sunday that abortion access would remain available in various states.
“I just want to make sure everyone is clear that if Roe v. Wade is overturned, that doesn’t mean that no one in America is going to have access — although that might make people like me happy — but what it does mean is that all 50 states, the laboratories of democracy, are going to have the ability to enact their own laws with respect to abortion,” Mr. Reeves said on CNN. “And I think that’s the way it should be in America.”
Any decision the Supreme Court makes involving abortion next year is likely to become a factor in midterm elections that determine the balance of power in Congress.
On Friday, liberal advocacy groups Planned Parenthood Action Fund, American Bridge 21st Century and Emily’s List published polling that they argued showed support for abortion protections is a winning issue for candidates in next year’s elections.