On Sunday, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) told CNN that she is ready to abolish the filibuster in the Senate in the Democrats’ fight to stop the pro-life Texas Heartbeat Act that became effective September 1.
Klobuchar said that she is working with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to enact a new federal law that would recognize the requirements of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that held that states could not prohibit abortions in the first trimester of pregnancy.
Under House rules, Pelosi could get such an act passed through the House without any Republican votes. However, the Senate’s filibuster rule would require at least 10 Republicans to join all 50 Democratic senators for passage.
Klobuchar now believes that federal abortion access is essential enough to abolish the Senate’s filibuster rule for ordinary legislation. She told the CNN host that while there “are pro-choice Republicans,” there are not enough to get to 60 votes on a pro-Roe statute.
Saying that “we will just get nowhere” with the filibuster rule in place, Klobuchar said that ending the practice is her “solution” for voting rights and climate changes as well as abortion. She added that “the rule allows us to put our heads in the sand.”
Last week, the Supreme Court was asked to stop enforcement of the Texas Heartbeat Act but declined to act by a 5-4 vote that saw Chief Justice John Roberts join with the three liberal justices in dissent. The new Texas law prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat is medically detected, which usually occurs at about the sixth week of pregnancy.
The enactment of the Texas pro-life law has been met with fierce opposition from Democrats and progressives in Washington and around the country. Among Republicans, 62 percent believe that abortion should be prohibited.
Klobuchar echoed a general concern among Democrats and leftists that the Supreme Court may outright overturn Roe v. Wade shortly. The court has a case pending in the upcoming term. Mississippi has expressly asked that Roe be overturned and abortion regulation be returned exclusively to the states to handle individually. In that situation, a decision is likely next year.
President Joe Biden said earlier this year that his administration is committed to enacting pro-abortion federal legislation and appointing justices to the Supreme Court who will pledge to uphold the Roe decision.