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Tipsheet

McConnell Says a National Abortion Ban Is 'Possible'

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said in an interview late last week that a national ban on abortion is possible if the United States Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

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McConnell made the remarks in an interview with USA Today days after a draft opinion from the Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was leaked and published by Politico. In the opinion, the Justices voted to overturn Roe

“If the leaked opinion became the final opinion, legislative bodies — not only at the state level but at the federal level — certainly could legislate in that area,” McConnell said in the interview when he was asked if a national abortion ban is “worthy of debate.”

“And, if this were the final decision, that was the point, that it should be resolved one way or another in the legislative process. So yeah, it’s possible,” he added.

McConnell later added that’s “clear” where Republicans stand on the issue of abortion. If the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe, the issue of abortion would be legislated by each state. Several states have “trigger laws” in place to automatically restrict abortion if Roe is overturned.

The draft opinion, which was penned by Justice Samuel Alito, The draft opinion's conclusion reads, in part:

Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives.

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In the opinion, Alito refers to Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey as “egregiously wrong,” the same language Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch used in her Dobbs amicus brief filed last summer.

Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.

Fitch's amicus brief filed last July reads, in part: 

Roe and Casey are egregiously wrong. The conclusion that abortion is a constitutional right has no basis in text, structure, history, or tradition…So the question becomes whether this Court should overrule those decisions. It should.

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