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Senators Warner and Kaine weigh in on SCOTUS draft leak

Published: May. 4, 2022 at 3:56 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine continue to weigh in on the recent draft by Justice Samuel Alito on overturning Roe v. Wade.

The Democratic senators say even if the draft is not the final outcome, it could have impacts on voters as they head to the polls for elections. If voters don’t like the direction the Supreme Court is taking, no matter the outcome this summer, Sen. Warner and Sen. Kaine say its the polls where their voices can be heard.

“The only place where they can work to ensure that a woman’s right to choose, for example, is protected, is to change the composition of the Congress and make sure that the composition of the legislature in Virginia protects those rights,” Warner said.

The same goes for those who support overturning Roe v. Wade.

“Elections matter,” Warner said.

“In Virginia, overwhelmingly voters do not want Roe v. Wade overturned and that includes a lot of pro-life voters,” Kaine said.

Kaine says he is pro-life, like many others: “But we don’t think women who make other decisions or people who have different opinions should be criminalized for the decisions they make about their own reproductive lives,” he said. “This is a court that apparently five members of the court - all of whom appointed by Republican presidents - are taking a step that is dramatically, dramatically out of step with the wishes of Virginians and with the wishes of the American public.”

Justice Alito’s draft is not set in stone, but a decision from the Supreme Court is expected in the summer, Kaine says likely in June or July.

“If the Supreme Court takes away those rights, it’s left to Congress, it’s left to the state legislatures,” Warner said.

One way Congress is working to protect those rights is through the Women’s Health Protection Act.

“What Congress needs to do is try to provide a guarantee that no matter what zip code you live in, you will be able to make your own reproductive decisions without big government getting in your way and criminalizing providers or others or empowering bounty hunters to go after you,” Sen. Kaine said.

Kaine says he hopes a vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act or similar protections will happen next week. It would need 60 votes to pass.

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