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Video: Members of Congress Voice Mixed Opinions on the Roe v Wade Ruling

As members of Congress poured into the Capitol on Friday morning before a busy legislative day before recess, news of the Supreme Court’s decision to overthrow Roe v. Wade reverberated through the building.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi was visibly shocked at her weekly press conference, saying: “It’s just stunning — and again, as a woman, as a mother, as a grandmother, to see that young girls now have fewer rights than their mothers or even their mothers. grandmothers, is something very sad for our country.”

Separately, she described the statement as “cruel,” “outrageous” and “heartbreaking.”

But congressional action on abortion rights is unlikely given a lack of support in the Senate. A House bill that went beyond Roe and aimed at protecting access to abortion across the country, the Women’s Health Protection Act, failed in the Senate last month with 51 senators against and 49 in favor, far fewer than the 60 votes needed.

Illinois Democrat Jan Schakowsky said she thought it was unlikely that an abortion rights bill would be passed by the Senate, adding that the next best action would be to “organize, mobilize and change a major electoral problem.” “.

Democrats need the support of West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin III, who has often opposed abortion rights, alongside 10 Republicans to pass such a bill.

“I’ve come to accept that my definition of pro-life may not be someone else’s definition of pro-life – I believe exceptions should be made in cases of rape, incest and when the mother’s life is in danger Manchin said, adding, “I support legislation that would codify the rights Roe v. Wade previously protected.”

Senator Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine who was a key supporter of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh in his 2018 confirmation, said in a statement that Judge Kavanaugh and Judge Neil M. Gorsuch had misrepresented their views on Roe in private meetings with hair.

“To reject overnight a precedent that the country has relied on for half a century is not conservative,” Ms Collins said. “It is a sudden and radical shock to the country that will lead to political chaos, anger and a further loss of confidence in our government.”

Ms. Collins is one of two Senate Republicans who have expressed support for abortion rights bills; the other is Lisa Murkowski from Alaska. The two voted for the Women’s Health Protection Act.

Some lawmakers expressed satisfaction with the court’s ruling, including Georgia Republican Representative Majorie Taylor Greene, who entered the House chamber with a smile and said the decision was “a blessing.”

“People need to understand that this isn’t ending abortion, it’s just giving it back to the states so the states can make their own laws,” she said.

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who has been instrumental in shaping the Supreme Court, said he shared the joy of those celebrating the verdict.

Ohio Republican Representative Jim Jordan stated on the floor of the House, “God bless the Supreme Court of the United States, and God bless President Trump for the people he has selected to our highest court.”

As protesters gathered outside the Supreme Court, other Congressional Republicans, such as Senators Charles E. Grassley of Iowa and Rob Portman of Ohio, urged the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security to ensure safety for members of the Supreme Court and the court itself, and escalated security measures from a bill passed Congress earlier this month that extends police protections to the judges’ immediate family members.

Senator Richard J. Durbin, the Illinois Democrat who heads the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the panel would hold a hearing on July 12, when the Senate returns from recess, about a post-Roe world.

“The court’s decision to remove the right to access abortion will not only lead to the denial of critical health care, but also criminal consequences for women and health care providers in states that want to embrace draconian restrictions,” he said.

Emily Cochrane and Carl Hulse reporting contributed.

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