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Could Congress or President Biden act if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade?

Democrats will make attempts to act over coming weeks
Supreme Court
Posted at 5:00 PM, May 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 17:23:15-04

WASHINGTON — If the Supreme Court rules the way the leaked draft document published by Politico indicates, could Congress or President Biden do anything to still protect abortion access nationwide? In short, the answer is yes.

Democrats in Congress could try and pass a law to codify the right to abortion into federal law. That would start an entirely new legal fight.

However, it's doubtful Democrats have the necessary votes to do that right now. The Senate is split 50-50.

Conversations have also started to try and change Senate rules so that abortion rights could pass in the Senate with fewer than 60 votes.

For the moment though, that appears to lack the necessary votes too.

Meanwhile, President Biden has already indicated he might try to do something on his own when the actual opinion comes down.

The president has directed his Gender Policy Council and the White House Counsel's Office "to prepare options for an Administration response."

Biden released a statement on Monday saying: "We will be ready when any ruling is issued."

WHEN MIGHT AN OPINION COME?

As supporters on both sides of the issue continue to rally on the steps of the Supreme Court, there is no indication of when the Supreme Court will actually announce its official opinion.

While Chief Justice John Roberts has confirmed the leaked document is real, he also said it does not represent a final ruling.

Of course, it has long been speculated that justices on the supreme court are prepared to overturn Roe, which simply gives the authority to regulate abortion back to state governments.

Conservative-learning states will likely pass more restrictions while liberal-leaning states are expected to expand abortion rights.

WHAT IS NEXT?

"The pro-life movement is not going to stop," Carol Tobias, the president of the National Right to Life, told our Joe St. George recently.

National Right to Life is of the largest anti-abortion groups in the country. Recently Tobias said that even if Roe gets struck down her work won't be over. New legal fights will emerge and those will likely involve the White House.

For instance, there is a growing push by women's rights groups to promote abortion pills. Those pills could be delivered, discreetly, in the mail.

Stopping that, Tobias admits, will be tough.

"It will be hard to catch," Tobias said.

As for the time being, expect abortion to be a major focus of this year's midterm elections. Abortion rights supporters predicted Tuesday outside the Supreme Court this will mobilize some voters.

"We really hope this draft decision leak really mobilizes people to take action," Shannon Russell, with Catholics for Choice, said.