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US Senate Dems respond to High Court draft striking abortion rights

Chris Van Hollen has been the junior US senator from MD since January 3, 2017. From 2003 to 2017, he represented Maryland's 8th congressional district.
Chris Van Hollen has been the junior US senator from Maryland since January 3, 2017. He is an original co-sponsor of the Women's Health Protection Act, a Senate bill that would codify abortion rights into federal law. (photo courtesy Sen. Van Hollen's office.)

Politico's publication Monday night of a leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion in a Mississippi abortion rights case set off a firestorm of criticism from abortion-rights supporters, and paroxysms of joy from abortion rights opponents. In the 98-page draft of an opinion that was not supposed to made public until the Court majority signed off on a final version, Justice Samuel Alito stated bluntly, “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision....”

He's referring, of course to the two landmark Supreme Court cases that have defined laws about abortion access: Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood.

Reaction from Democrats on Capitol Hill was swift. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed to call a vote on legislation that would codify in law a woman’s right to end her pregnancy.

Joining Tom now is Sen. Chris Van Hollen. He is a co-sponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act, which passed in the House last September…

Sen. Van Hollen was first elected to the Senate in 2016. He is standing for re-election this year. His opponent in the Democratic primary is Michelle Smith, a policy analyst at USAID and an audio engineer. Ten Republicans will appear on the ballot in July in the race to be the nominee to oppose Sen. Van Hollen in November.

Sen Chris Van Hollen joins us on Zoom.

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