On Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, outlined some of the possible actions that House Democrats are considering after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
A letter from Pelosi says that Democrats have been preparing for the eventuality since a draft opinion was leaked from SCOTUS in early May. She proceeded to cite three different proposals under consideration.
The first would be to codify Roe v. Wade into law, even though the ruling has been overturned. The second would involve ensuring the freedom for women to cross state lines to pursue an abortion, and finally, the third would protect reproductive health data and ensure that it is not sold to third parties. This would include data stored on phones or applications. This proposal, created by Rep. Sara Jacobs, D-CA, was designed to prevent that data from being “used against women by a sinister prosecutor in a state that criminalizes abortion,” Pelosi wrote.
Pelosi also made comments directed at Justice Clarence Thomas, who, in his concurring decision, used Roe’s reversal to advocate for the re-evaluation of other rights determined by the court, such as the national right to homosexual marriage, and the right to certain forms of contraception. Pelosi claimed that legislation is in the works to codify those decisions, strengthening them from future court decisions.
“Legislation is being introduced to further codify freedoms which Americans currently enjoy,” she wrote. “More information to follow.”
These proposals are unlikely to receive the GOP support they would need to break the filibuster, and therefore are unlikely to ever see President Biden’s desk. House Democrats passed legislation to codify Roe, only for it to fail in the senate.
Speaker Pelosi is likely aware of this reality, but now, post-Roe, Democrats are attempting to demonstrate that they are the party that protects personal liberty, and hope that their attempts will show results in their struggling polls. Democrats are expected to lose control of the house in November, after nearly 2 years of decreasing approval ratings for President Biden, and after more than 1 million voters changed their party registration to GOP.
“It is essential that we protect and expand our pro-choice Majorities in the House and Senate in November so that we can eliminate the filibuster so that we can restore women’s fundamental rights – and freedom for every American,” she wrote.