Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said a national abortion ban is “possible” if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, The Hill reports.
A leaked draft opinion revealed that a majority of the Supreme Court appears set to strike down Roe this summer, putting abortion rights in peril in conservative states.
But McConnell, whose party has long framed abortion as a states’ rights issue, said it was possible that a Republican Congress could impose a nationwide abortion ban.
“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,” he 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.”
Some senior Republicans rushed to downplay the possibility.
"I don't think it's really an appropriate topic for Congress to be passing a national law on," said Sen. John Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate.
"That wouldn't be my priority out of the gate," said Sen. Josh Hawley. "I think it would be better for states to debate this, allow it to breathe and for Congress to act where there's national consensus."
White House warns:
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that McConnell’s comments pose a “serious risk.”
"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,” the Democratic Senatorial Committee said in a statement. “For voters, the stakes of protecting and expanding our Democratic Senate Majority in 2022 have never been higher."