TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced the upper chamber of U.S. Congress would hold a vote on legislation codifying the right to abortion.
The news follows an evening leak of a majority opinion draft in the U.S. Supreme Court, previewing an overturning of Roe v. Wade, the case that has set federal precedent on abortion rights since 1973.
Schumer made the announcement on Twitter, saying the issue was “urgent.”
His statement on the social media platform read in part that “This is not an abstract exercise. This is urgent. We will vote on protecting a woman’s right to choose, and every American is going to see which side every senator stands on.”
Following the initial story coming out, Schumer also took aim at the conservative Justices, who he said were “not accountable to the people,” and accused them of having “lied to the Senate, ripped up the Constitution, and defiled precedent and the Court’s reputation” at American women’s expense.
Less than 24 hours before, Politico broke the news that SCOTUS would be voting to overturn Roe, as a first draft of the majority opinion was leaked. Authored by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, the draft’s legitimacy was briefly questioned.
Tuesday morning, Chief Justice John Roberts, another conservative Justice though largely known to be a swing vote with the current court, confirmed the document was real, and ordered an investigation of the leak.
In a speech on the draft, President Joe Biden said that he was concerned about how to move forward. His administration has said the right to abortion is “fundamental,” in a statement as response to the Politico story and leaked SCOTUS draft, published Monday night.
“It concerns me a great deal that we’re gonna, after 50 years, decide a woman doesn’t have a right to choose within the limits of the Supreme Court decision in Casey,” Biden said. “Equally as profound is the rationale used. It would mean that every other decision relating to the notion of privacy is thrown into question.”
While reversing the court’s stance on Roe v. Wade would remove federal protection and turn abortions back into a state-by-state political football, the decision in SCOTUS would not itself ban abortions in the U.S.
For states with laws either limiting abortion or so-called “trigger laws” set to limit abortions if Roe is overturned, the options to get a safe and legal abortion in the U.S. would become more limited should the decision fully pass the Court.