Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on Sunday said she views the midterm elections in November as the crucial opportunity for Democrats to gain the senators they need — senators who support eliminating or changing the filibuster — in order to codify Roe v. Wade following the Supreme Court’s ruling ending the right to abortion.
Appearing on ABC News, Warren blasted the Supreme Court for having “burned whatever legitimacy they may still have had” with its decision overturning Roe. In its Friday ruling, justices voted 5-4 to reject Roe, and 6-3 along party lines to uphold Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban in the underlying case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
Warren also reiterated her previous demand for the high court to expand the number of justices, and dismissed arguments by conservatives who say the right to an abortion should be decided by individual states.
“We have never left individual rights to the states. The whole idea is that women are not second-class citizens and the government is not the one that will decide about the continuation of a pregnancy,” Warren said. “Access to abortion, like other medical procedures, should be available across the board to all people in this country.”
After calling on President Biden to take federal action to ensure abortion access, including access to medication abortion, Warren urged voters to vote “like a laser” in the midterm elections in November by electing Democrats who are willing to eliminate the filibuster to help codify Roe, which she hopes Democratic Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman and Wisconsin Senate candidate Mandela Barnes would do if they are elected. The Senate currently lacks the 60 votes needed to overcome the filibuster.
“We (need to) get 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. “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.”
Warren also said she is “deeply concerned” over Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ opinion in the 213-page decision overturning abortion rights, in which he says outright that the Court should revisit other landmark decisions. Thomas pointed to cases that protect the right to a same-sex marriage, to conduct private sex acts and to access contraception.
“I understand that the rest of the court said, ‘No, no, we’re not going there,’ but remember how we got to where we are,” Warren said. “When Roe v. Wade first came down, there was a tiny minority that really put a lot of energy in effect for themselves and for Republicans, putting Roe on the ballot over and over.”
Warren’s appearance on ABC News comes a day after the New York Times published an op-ed written by her and Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) that warns of the dire consequences of the overturn of Roe, while also encouraging the public to demand elected leaders to take steps to ensure access to abortion.
In their op-ed, the Democratic senators demand “broad democracy reform” to combat restrictions that Republicans have imposed on access to reproductive health care.
The senators then call on candidates in the midterm elections to “voice a firm position on reproductive rights,” which includes reforming the filibuster as part of their platform in order to codify Roe.
“Ask every Senate candidate to commit to reforming the filibuster rules, so that the chamber can pass federal legislation protecting the right to reproductive freedom,” Warren and Smith wrote. “If voters help us maintain our control of the House and expand our majority in the Senate by at least two votes this November, we can make Roe the law all across the country as soon as January.”
Watch Warren’s remarks below: