House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that she would work to make abortion rights a top issue for voters in the midterm elections, shortly after the Supreme Court issued a ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade and ended federal abortion rights.
“Be aware of this: The Republicans are plotting a nationwide abortion ban. They cannot be allowed to have a majority in the Congress to do that,” Pelosi said. “A woman’s right to choose, reproductive freedom, is on the ballot in November.”
Democrats had expected that federal abortion protections established in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision would be overturned after a draft of the decision was leaked to Politico in May, and had already been pushing to make abortion an election-year issue as they fight to keep control of the House and Senate in this year’s midterms.
But even with the ruling long expected from the majority-conservative Supreme Court, Pelosi still expressed anger at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in particular for his role in blocking then-President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland, who now leads the Justice Department, to the high court in 2016, and later speeding Amy Coney Barrett through to a confirmation after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“The inconsistency, the hypocrisy — I don’t respect that process,” Pelosi said.
Democrats hold the slimmest of majorities in the House and the Senate and are widely expected to lose control of the House to Republicans in November.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pushed a proxy vote on abortion protections at the start of May as a means of putting Democrats and Republicans on the record prior to the November elections.
But it remains unclear whether the issue will drive voters, who face a seemingly endless barrage of pressing issues including high gas prices, a baby formula shortage, inflation, continued mass shootings and more.