Abortion rights groups break with progressive counterparts on filibuster

The dilemma becomes more apparent as the red states launch a new wave of abortion restrictions in hopes of persuading the Supreme Court to revisit and possibly overthrow Roe against calf, the landmark decision to legalize abortion nationwide. At the same time, Congress Democrats see themselves hindered in relation to abortion laws, which would codify them, for example roe Decision or blocking of states from enacting abortion bans that are deemed medically unnecessary, with a handful of conservative Democrats opposed to the lifting of procedural restrictions.

“If you’re a planned parenting or other progressive group, the chance of federal freedom of choice law being passed is pretty slim,” said Mary Ziegler, a professor at Florida State University College of Law who is an expert on the abortion debate . “It makes sense for them to keep the filibuster for a rainy day when the Republicans control Congress.”

In fact, some of the most recent Republican anti-abortion laws have been blocked only because of the Senate’s 60-vote threshold for law, including a 20 week gestation ban that received 53 votes in the previous Congress. Abortion policy experts believe such bills could easily get through a Republican-controlled post-filibuster chamber and be legally signed if the GOP controlled the House and Presidency.

“We are very supportive of the groups that speak out against the filibuster and we will not work against it.” her urge to end it but it is not our focus, ”said a Planned Parenthood official who refused to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter. “There are always threats to abortion rights, filibuster or not. We are always at risk and under attack, no matter who is in Congress or what rules apply. “

A spokesperson for NARAL said the filibuster is “a dynamic, moving target and we are watching the conversation very closely.”

President Joe Biden declined on Thursday to say whether he would support ending the 60-vote threshold for passing most of the bills, although the tactic continues to jeopardize his party’s agenda. “It will be difficult to get a parliamentary decision that allows 50 votes to end the filibuster, the existence of a filibuster,” he said during his first press conference as president.

Anti-abortionists who have long supported the filibuster – even concerned about the Democrats’ potential to roll back abortion restrictions – have stepped up their support for the problem through radio advertisements, billboards and rallies, calling on West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin to be one of the few anti-abortionists to be Abortion Democrats to hold the line and oppose any rule changes. And conservatives warn abortion rights advocates who are tempted to wade into the struggle to be careful about what they want.

“Just ask Harry Reid how the judiciary’s filibuster went,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, referring to the 2013 Democratic leader’s “nuclear option,” which won the 60-vote vote. Lower threshold for most presidential nominations. In 2017, Republicans pushed through another rule change that would allow President Donald Trump to approve three judges by simple majority.

Hawkins, whose group held a rally in Charleston, West Virginia and bought billboards that read, “Save Babies, Save the Filibuster,” said they have long urged other conservative activists to go beyond short-term profits, enact individual abortion bans and to focus on the long-term threat of further structural reforms that Democrats want to pursue.

The anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List similarly targeted Manchin with a recent six-digit radio and digital advertising campaign campaigning to keep the filibuster alive. Warning at the points that otherwise the Democrats would approve “taxpayer sponsored abortion” and “fill the Supreme Court with abortion liberals”.

“There are definitely different opinions in the pro-life movement and people who said we should have got rid of it [the filibuster] when we got the chance, “said Mallory Quigley, the group’s vice president of communications. “But even if the shoe was on the other foot, we didn’t do it because we are committed to lasting change.”

Even if Democrats scrapped the filibuster and passed a bunch of laws against abortion rights, they would likely find an unfavorable reception in a federal judicial system filled by dozens of Trump candidates – not to mention the 6-3 Conservative Majority Supreme Court.

Hirono said there was still a benefit in taking bills and holding votes, which brings senators up to speed on hot-button issues like abortion. To write beyond the law Roe v. calf According to the law, abortion groups want to push forward bills that would, for example, permanently end Mexico City politics – a ban on international aid to health groups overseas that provide for or apply for abortions.

“If we’re going to postpone some of the really important laws we need, we’ll probably have to do filibuster reform. Otherwise, Mitch McConnell will block everything,” she said.

But the more cautious stance could prevail even if it separates abortion rights groups from some long-term allies.

“We have very close relationships with migrant and business justice groups and we want to partner with them in that regard,” said Kelsey Ryland, co-director of Abortion Campaigns at All * Above All. “But we have seen in previous conventions that the filibuster is what stood between us and national bans on abortion care. We have a long history of really bad bills that would have decimated access if implemented. “

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