Pelosi introduces abortion rights proposals after Supreme Court decision

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) concludes a news conference after the US Supreme Court struck down Roe v Wade, which guaranteed a woman’s right to an abortion, June 24, 2022 at the Capitol Visitors Center in Washington, DC.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday House Democrats are considering legislation to protect personal information stored in reproductive health apps, to ensure the right to travel freely between states and to codify the right to abortion, after the Supreme Court ruled in the landmark case of Roe v. Wade had lifted .

The ideas, which Pelosi put forward in a letter Monday to House Democrats, follow Friday’s court decision to reverse nearly 50 years of abortion rights in the United States. The decision has sparked nationwide outrage from pro-abortion advocates in the days since.

“This weekend, the American people spoke out in person and in large numbers against the Supreme Court’s disregard for a woman’s freedom over her reproductive health,” wrote California Democrat Pelosi. “While this extremist Supreme Court works to punish and control the American people, Democrats must continue our fight to expand freedom in America.”

Her letter contained three early ideas Democrats are considering in response to the ruling.

The first would seek to protect “women’s most intimate and personal data” stored in reproductive health apps.

“Many fear,” Pelosi wrote, “that this information could be used by a sinister prosecutor against women in a state that criminalizes abortion.”

Such apps, including Flo by Flo Health, allow women to track their menstrual periods, prepare for conception, pregnancy, early motherhood and menopause. While the company didn’t immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment, a fact sheet released by the company shows that about 32 million people used its app each month, and that as of May 2020, 12 million had become pregnant while using the platform.

The second idea would be to pass legislation that reaffirms the constitutional right to travel freely across the US and ensures that residents of states that ban abortion can go to another for the procedure.

The third would codify abortion rights under the Roe decision of 1973 in a bill known as the Women’s Health Protection Act.

The chances of such legislation reaching President Joe Biden to become law are slim. The bill has met with fierce opposition from Senate Republicans.

Current Senate rules dictate that the majority party must muster 60 votes to indefinitely overcome a filibuster orchestrated by the minority opposition. With Democrats holding a razor-thin majority in a 50-50 Senate — with Vice President Kamala Harris as the key tiebreaker — the legislation needs to win 60 yes votes.

Pelosi acknowledged those long odds in her letter, but argued that Democrats should consider scrapping the filibuster rule altogether.

“It’s important that we protect and expand our pro-choice majorities in the House and Senate in November so we can eliminate the filibuster so we can restore basic rights to women — and liberty to every American,” she wrote .

Aside from getting rid of the filibuster, Democrats have few legislative options to counter the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn its previous ruling.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told voters in his home state of Kentucky that Republicans and Democrats are far apart on a bipartisan compromise.

“In the Senate, most things require 60 votes,” he said. “Neither side of this issue received anywhere near 60 votes. So I think this is probably all going to be settled in court and dealt with in the various states across the country.”

This is breaking news. Please check again for updates.

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Drew Weisholtz

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