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Supreme Court Elevates Abortion in Senate Campaigns

  • June 29, 2020

“It’s a good day for freedom,” top Democratic National Committee members said in a joint statement, before quickly pivoting to direct their ire at Republicans. “Again, Republicans tried to attack access to safe and legal abortion at the Supreme Court, and again they were shot down.”

“Republican leaders will continue to go after the rights of women and anyone seeking reproductive care to make decisions about their own bodies, their own families, and their own futures,” the D.N.C. statement added. “In fact, two of today’s votes against abortion rights came from Trump’s Supreme Court appointees, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch. Democrats are doing everything in our power to flip the Senate, defeat Donald Trump, and make sure Roe remains the law of the land.”

Nearly all sitting Republican senators voted to confirm Justice Kavanaugh, including those in competitive races this year. Senator Martha McSally of Arizona, a Republican who is locked in a tough battle against Mark Kelly, a Democrat, had not been appointed to her Senate seat at the time of the October 2018 vote, but indicated around that time that she would have voted in favor.

A spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee said that the party “values the life and health of both the mother and the unborn baby” and sought to use upset over the ruling to drive turnout in the fall.

“It’s unfortunate to see the Supreme Court trample on the prerogatives of states with this decision,” the spokeswoman, Mandi Merritt, said in a statement. “It’s cases like this which serve as a reminder to why President Trump must be re-elected so he can appoint more conservative judges who won’t legislate from the bench.”

Several Republican lawmakers expressed displeasure with the ruling, including at least two from Louisiana: Representative Steve Scalise, the House minority whip, called the decision “horrible,” and Senator John Kennedy said it was “extremely troubling.”

The Louisiana law at issue requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at hospitals, and Mr. Kennedy was among the Republican lawmakers who argued on Twitter that the court had struck down legislation that “fundamentally protects women.”(Supporters of abortion rights argue, and the Supreme Court’s majority opinion agreed, that requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges does not make women safer.)

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