Pelosi unveils abortion rights proposals after ruling

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) ends her press conference after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed a woman’s right to an abortion, at the Capitol Visitor Center on June 24, 2022 in Washington, DC.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday said House Democrats are exploring legislation to protect personal data stored on reproductive health apps, ensure the right to free movement between states and codify the right to abortion after the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. U.S. case. . The Wade case.

Ideas presented by Pelosi to fellow Democrats in the House of Representatives in a letter from Mondayshould the court’s decision on Friday, which upended nearly 50 years of abortion rights in the US. The decision sparked nationwide outrage from supporters of access to abortion in the following days.

“This weekend, the American people spoke out personally and in large numbers in their opposition to the Supreme Court’s disrespect for a woman’s freedom in relation to her reproductive health,” wrote California Democrat Pelosi. “While this extremist Supreme Court works to punish and control the American people, Democrats must continue our fight to expand freedom in America.”

Her letter offered three early ideas that Democrats are weighing in response to the ruling.

The first approach will aim to protect “the most intimate and personal data of women” stored in applications for reproductive health. “Many fear,” Pelosi wrote, “that this information could be used against women by a sinister prosecutor in a state that criminalizes abortion.”

Such apps, including Flo by Flo Health, allow women to track their periods, prepare for conception, pregnancy, early motherhood and menopause. While the company did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment, a newsletter released by the business shows that about 32 million people have used its app every month and that 12 million have become pregnant while using the platform as of May 2020.

The second idea is to pass a law that affirms the constitutional right to free movement within the US, ensuring that residents of states where abortion is illegal can have the procedure in a state where it is allowed.

A third would codify the abortion rights outlined in Roe’s 1973 decision in a bill known as Women’s Health Act.

The chances of such legislation reaching President Joe Biden and becoming law are slim because it will face entrenched opposition from Republicans in the Senate.

Current Senate rules dictate that the majority party must garner 60 votes to overcome the indefinite filibuster set up by the minority opposition. With Democrats holding a paltry 50-50 majority in the Senate and with Vice President Kamala Harris playing a critical role, the bill would need 60 votes to pass.

Pelosi acknowledged those big chances in her letter, but said Democrats should consider repealing the piracy rule altogether.

“It is imperative that we defend and expand our pro-choice majorities in the House and Senate in November so that we can eliminate filibusters and restore women’s basic rights – and freedom for every American,” she wrote.

With the exception of eliminating the filibuster, Democrats have few legislative options to counter the Supreme Court’s decision to reverse its previous ruling.

Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told voters in his home state of Kentucky that Republicans and Democrats are far apart on any bipartisan compromise.

“In the Senate, it takes 60 votes for most things,” he said. “Neither side of this issue has come close to getting 60 votes. So I think it’s all likely to be taken to court in various states across the country.”

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