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Pelosi says Democrats are seeking abortion rights law, calls for end of filibuster

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WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Monday that Democrats want to pass legislation that would guarantee access to abortions, protect women’s health care data and enshrine other federal protections, after the Supreme Court struck down federal abortion rights in its ruling last week.

House Democrats are exploring pushing measures that would protect women’s health data collected in period tracker apps and ensure that women can travel for abortions to states where the procedure remains legal, Pelosi wrote in a letter to other House members Monday.

She also urged Senate Democrats to strike down the filibuster to get the measures passed.

“While this extremist Supreme Court works to punish and control the American people, Democrats must continue our fight to expand freedom in America,” Pelosi wrote. “Doing so is foundational to our oath of office and our fidelity to the Constitution.”

Nancy Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reacts to the overturning of Roe v. Wade during her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill on Friday. {Mary F. Calvert/Reuters)

Pelosi said the House would consider trying again to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would place access to abortions in a federal statute. She also said that Democrats were eyeing legislation enshrining access to contraception and protecting same-sex marriage, in response to Justice Clarence Thomas’s concurring opinion suggesting that same-sex marriage and contraception guarantees could also be struck down by the majority-conservative court.

“More information to follow,” Pelosi wrote.

Abortion rights activists
Abortion rights activists protest at the Supreme Court in the aftermath of the overturning of Roe v. Wade. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

Pelosi holds a slim majority in the House and has a handful of moderate to conservative Democrats in her caucus, which could make passing any protections tough. A test vote in May held by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to pass abortion rights failed to clear the 60-vote hurdle needed to break a filibuster in the Senate.

Republicans are widely expected to reclaim control of the House, and possibly the Senate, in November. But following waves of protests across the nation over the weekend, Democrats have been pushing abortion access as a key issue for motivating their supporters ahead of November’s midterm elections.