Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) is calling on voters to elect just two more lawmakers to join Senate Democrats this fall, in order to secure enough votes for filibuster reform or abolition with the goal of enshrining federal abortion protections into law.
In an interview with ABC on Sunday, Warren said that while there are number of actions that lawmakers can take right now to expand and protect abortion access, one of the widest-reaching actions that voters can take is to elect lawmakers to overcome conservative Senators Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and Kyrsten Sinema’s (D-Arizona) opposition to filibuster reform in the Senate.
The Senate needs just “two more senators on the Democratic side, two senators who are willing to protect access to abortion and get rid of the filibuster so that we can pass it,” Warren said. “And yes, John Fetterman, I’m looking at you in Pennsylvania. Mandela Barnes, I’m looking at you in Wisconsin.”
“We bring them in, then we’ve got the votes, and we can protect every woman no matter where she lives,” she said. (Trans people also benefit from abortion access and are arguably at even greater risk than cis women are due to the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade overturn.)
Fetterman and Barnes, top Democrats in their races to flip two Senate seats blue this fall, have both stated that they support ending the use of the filibuster. Both candidates also support codifying federal abortion rights into law in order to combat the far right’s attacks and bans on the procedure.
Manchin and Sinema are the only two lawmakers in the Senate Democratic caucus who are outspoken in their opposition to filibuster reform, while Manchin is the only Senate Democrat to vote with Republicans last month to shoot down his party’s bill to protect abortion rights on the federal level.
Other lawmakers, like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), have called for filibuster abolition to expand and protect abortion access. President Joe Biden, however, has declined to support filibuster abolition for abortion rights and has come out against Supreme Court expansion, frustrating Democrats and progressives.
Aside from moves like impeaching the Supreme Court’s far right justices and replacing them with Democrats to undo the Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson decision; expanding the Supreme Court for the same reason; or somehow nullifying laws in states that have already banned abortion since Friday, passing pro-abortion legislation is one of the only options that Democrats have left to protect abortion rights federally, as Roe did.
Until the election, Warren says that President Joe Biden could use his executive power to expand abortion access, taking moves like opening reproductive health clinics on federal land, declaring a public health emergency over abortion bans and opening up federal funds for people seeking abortions in states they don’t reside in. Biden has taken some limited steps to protect abortion access, but hasn’t mobilized the all-of-government response that some lawmakers are calling for.
In an op-ed written with Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minnesota) published over the weekend, Warren and Smith also called on readers to donate to abortion funds.
Warren harshly criticized the far right extremists who sit on the Supreme Court on Sunday, calling for an expansion of the Supreme Court to combat the far right’s undue, well-financed influence on the Court.
“This Court has lost legitimacy,” Warren said. “They have burned whatever legitimacy they may still have had after their gun decision, after their voting decision, after their union decision — they just took the last of it and set a torch to it with the Roe v. Wade decision.”
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