- The Supreme Court is set to overturn abortion rights according to a leaked draft opinion.
- Sen. Mitch McConnell said if Roe v. Wade is overturned a federal abortion ban would be a possibility.
- Some Republicans have expressed interest in a federal ban while others say it’s a state issue.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged that a national ban on abortions would be a possibility if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade this summer as it appears poised to do.
His comments came after a leaked draft of a Supreme Court ruling showed a majority of justices were in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that enshrined the right to an abortion.
In an interview with USA Today published Saturday, McConnell was asked if the idea of a national abortion ban was “worthy of debate.”
“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.”
The leaked draft opinion held that both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a 1992 decision that upheld Roe, should be overturned.
“It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives,” the draft said.
Plenty of states have already enacted abortion bans or restrictions that have been challenged in court, though such laws will likely hold if Roe v. Wade is overturned. More than a dozen states also have “trigger laws” that restrict or ban abortion and are set to take effect upon Roe getting overturned.
It’s unclear if a federal abortion ban will be seriously considered by Republicans in Congress. Since the draft leaked, some GOP lawmakers have said they are weighing national restrictions, while others have said the decision should fall to the states.
Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress are renewing efforts to pass federal legislation that would protect abortion rights if Roe falls, though it’s all but certain to fail as Republicans can filibuster the bill.