Politicians across the country have called for a federal law codifying Roe v. Wade after a Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn the 1973 landmark case, which made abortion a fundamental right nationwide, was leaked to the press.
The passage of such a law has already faced political obstacles, however. In early May, Democratic members of Congress sought to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, which aims to protect a person’s right to end a pregnancy, as well as health care providers’ ability to provide services to that end. That legislation did not pass the U.S. Senate. In fact, every Republican and one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, voted against it.
Even if a bill making abortion legal nationwide were to be passed, it would likely face constitutional challenges from anti-abortion activists and organizations, and these petitioners would possibly have the sympathies of the conservative-majority Supreme Court, Northeastern legal experts point out.