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Democrat Senator Supports Changing Rules to Make Roe v. Wade a Federal Law

Democratic Senator Argues for Breaking Filibuster to Codify Roe v. Wade Into Federal Law

Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) recently advocated for the federal enshrinement of abortion rights during an appearance on CBS’ “Meet the Press” with host Kristen Welker. Arizona, described as a battleground for abortion rights, was the focus, with Welker questioning whether the state’s actions would affect Democratic voter turnout.

Kelly emphasized the need for federal legislation to safeguard abortion rights, attributing Arizona’s challenges to the policies of former President Trump and advocating for a ballot initiative in November to address the issue at the state level. However, he stressed that true progress would only come with national legislation, insisting that President Biden’s reelection was crucial for this to occur.

When asked about the filibuster, Kelly expressed willingness to abolish it to protect Roe v. Wade. Drawing from his experience at NASA, he likened the Senate’s rules to hindrances that could prevent vital legislation, such as abortion rights, from progressing. This stance aligns with his broader support for voting rights legislation, indicating a readiness to adapt Senate procedures when necessary to ensure access to healthcare, particularly for women.

Sen. Mark Kelly

Sen. Mark Kelly (Credits: The Intercept)

The discussion on codifying Roe at the federal level resurfaced following the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision to overturn the landmark ruling. Democrats, seeking to legalize abortion nationally, faced Republican opposition, with West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin also voting against the measure. President Biden pledged to advance this effort if Democrats secured majorities in both chambers of Congress, with plans to prioritize codifying Roe soon after the next Congress convened.

Biden’s upcoming speech to the DNC will reportedly reaffirm his commitment to codifying abortion rights, contingent upon Democratic gains in the midterm elections. He plans to prioritize this legislation, aiming to coincide its signing with the 50th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. By framing the choice as one between Republican calls for a national abortion ban and Democratic efforts to protect reproductive freedom, Biden seeks to highlight the significance of the 2024 elections, where abortion is expected to be a pivotal issue.

In essence, Sen. Kelly’s advocacy for federal legislation to safeguard abortion rights aligns with broader Democratic efforts, supported by President Biden, to counter recent setbacks and ensure access to reproductive healthcare. The impending midterm elections are viewed as critical in determining the trajectory of abortion policy, with Democrats aiming to secure the necessary political leverage to advance their agenda and protect women’s reproductive rights.

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