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Report: Republicans Cautious About Federal Action on Abortion After Leak


Republicans approached the leaked Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade with caution on Tuesday, The Hill reported.

”All of this puts the cart before the horse,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters when asked if he will support federal legislation to restrict abortion if Republicans win the Senate come November.

The Kentucky Republican further urged journalists ”to concentrate on what the news is today: Not a leaked draft, but the fact that the draft was leaked.”

House Republican leaders appeared more ready to call for restrictions on abortion if the chamber flips, but remained hesitant to give specifics.

Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik of New York released a joint statement Tuesday calling out the leak and reiterating the party’s commitment to ”the sanctity of life.”

”This clearly coordinated campaign to intimidate and obstruct the Justices of the United States Supreme Court, and its independence in our political system, from upholding the Constitution must be immediately investigated by the court,” the three wrote.

”House Republicans are committed to upholding the sanctity of life, and we will continue to fight to be a voice for the truly voiceless. There is nothing more special, extraordinary, and worth fighting for than the miracle of life,” they added.

Despite the cautious rhetoric, Heritage Action Executive Director Jessica Anderson pointed to three key pieces of legislation that Republicans might propose if the decision holds and the party wins control of the chamber.

The Life at Conception Act has 18 Republican co-sponsors in the Senate and more than 100 in the House and would recognize a fetus as a person for the purposes of applying the 14th Amendment.

Second is the Heartbeat Protection Act introduced by Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., with 54 co-sponsors, which seeks to ban abortion after fetal cardiac activity is detectable.

Finally, the more moderate Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would ban abortion after 20 weeks and has the support of 166 House co-sponsors and 45 Senate co-sponsors. Forms of the bill already passed the House multiple times in the last decade before being struck down by Democrats in the Senate.

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