Abortion rights groups add their weight to Supreme Court expansion push

Abortion rights groups add their weight to Supreme Court expansion push | The Hill

Abortion rights groups add their weight to Supreme Court expansion push  at george magazine

Protesters chant during a Planned Parenthood rally in support of abortion access outside the Supreme Court on Saturday, April. 15, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nathan Howard)

Abortion rights groups have jumped on board the Democrat-led push to expand the Supreme Court. 

Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America, two of the country’s leading abortion rights groups, appeared in front of the Supreme Court along with lawmakers on Tuesday for the reintroduced the Judiciary Act, which would expand the court by four justices and reduce the power of the conservative supermajority on the bench. 

NARAL President Mini Timmaraju said the disconnect between American voters and the Supreme Court on abortion rights showed that the system is broken. 

“The majority of Americans support these freedoms and this court behind us is intent on gutting these freedoms. So we have a problem, folks,” Timmaraju said. 

“When we take these issues to the people, they’re with us, right? So, there’s something broken in the system, and you’re looking at it, folks,” she continued. “So, when these members of Congress came to us and our colleagues and our allies and said, ‘Please join this fight to expand the court,’ honestly I had nothing to say but ‘why the heck not? Why didn’t we do it yet?’”

Jacqueline Ayers, senior vice president of policy, organizing, and campaigns at Planned Parenthood, said this change was overdue.

“Our fundamental rights and freedoms are on the line with the court being shaped as it is today,” she said. 

The League of Conservation Voters and the Demand Justice advocacy group were also in attendance on Tuesday, along with Democratic Sens. Ed Markey (Mass.) and Tina Smith (Minn.) and Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff (Calif.), Cori Bush (Mo.) and Hank Johnson (Ga.).

“It is historic that NARAL and Planned Parenthood are now on board, joined by the League of Conservation Voters,” Markey told reporters.

“But there’s going to be group after group issue after issue, interest after interest that’s going to be negatively impacted. They’ll all join this coalition and it will make it irresistible to the House and Senate to expand the court,” he added. 

Planned Parenthood President and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson advocated for the expansion of the Supreme Court and term limits for justices during an appearance on MSNBC over the weekend. 

“The reality is, the court now has been fully captured in so many areas,” she said, pointing to a lone Texas judge who overturned federal approval of a popular abortion pill, sending the question to the conservative Supreme Court. 

“It would be one thing to call for, you know, a justice to step down for whatever reason, but the reality is, that the way in which the system has been captured requires us to engage in structural reform in a different way,” McGill Johnson added. 

Public outcry against the Supreme Court has steadily grown since the court overturned Roe v. Wade last year, opening the floodgates for conservative state governments to pass restrictive abortion bans.

The lawmakers noted during the press conference that altering the size of the Supreme Court is not an unprecedented action and has been done seven times before. 

Johnson said Democrats retaking the House would be key in passing the Judiciary Act. And Markey admitted it will be a heavy lift.  

“It’s going to be difficult. Obviously, the special interests have funded this movement to create the thievery which has occurred in stealing the Supreme Court seats,” Markey said. 

“So, we know it’s not going to be easy, but we were able to pass the largest climate change bill in American history without Republican support and we just might have to reclaim the legitimacy of the Supreme Court without Republican support.”


abortion access

abortion rights

Alexis McGill Johnson

Ed Markey

Ed Markey

Mini Timmaraju

NARAL Pro-Choice America

planned parenthood

Supreme Court

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