During an interview Thursday with USA Today, McConnell suggested a national abortion ban could happen but acknowledged that it is too soon to start discussions on this. “All of this puts the cart before the horse,” he said at the time after a reporter asked whether he would support legislation to restrict the procedure if Republicans win control of the Senate.
When asked during an interview with USA today if a conversation on a national abortion ban is worthy of debate, the senator said federal restrictions on the procedure are possible.
“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 said. “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.”
Many of McConnell’s Republican colleagues have hit out at the leak and called for consequences to be handed down to the person(s) responsible.
McConnell also told the outlet Republicans’ position on abortion is clear. “With regard to the abortion issue, I think it’s pretty clear where Senate Republicans stand,” McConnell said. “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 senator Republicans stand on that issue.”
Following Politico’s report, Democrats expressed anger at the potential for Roe v. Wade to be overturned. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) offered a statement on Monday night following news of the leaked draft.
“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,” the two said in a statement.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee cited McConnell’s interview with USA Today to gin up support for Democrats. “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. For voters, the stakes of protecting and expanding our Democratic Senate majority in 2022 have never been higher.”
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