On Wednesday, a draconian law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy took effect in Texas, even though many don’t even know that they’re pregnant until after that point. Troublingly, the law also includes a provision allowing private citizens to sue those who are suspected of having “aided or abetted” someone in getting an abortion at a point disallowed by the law. Concerned observers had been hoping that the U.S. Supreme Court would act in time to stop the law from going into effect, but the court took no such step, and as of early Wednesday, next steps remained uncertain. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) was among those who spoke out.
On Twitter, Warnock commented as follows:
‘The extreme abortion law in Texas is exactly why we need to keep a Senate with the power to appoint Supreme Court justices that respect a woman’s right to choose.’
The extreme abortion law in Texas is exactly why we need to keep a Senate with the power to appoint Supreme Court justices that respect a woman's right to choose.
— Reverend Raphael Warnock (@ReverendWarnock) September 1, 2021
Warnock himself is set to be on the ballot next year, at which point he’ll secure a full, six-year term if he wins. He’s currently serving out the final two years of a preceding Senator’s term after that former Senator, Johnny Isakson, retired. Republicans broadly hope to be able to reclaim Warnock’s Senate seat, although his initial win already shows that he’s able to run a formidable campaign. He won earlier this year, alongside fellow Democratic Georgia Senate candidate Jon Ossoff, and together, Warnock and Ossoff delivered control of the Senate to Democrats for the time being. The chamber is split between 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans, but with Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris’s role as a tiebreaker affecting the calculus, Democrats have control.
Others who have spoken out against the new Texas abortion ban include Hillary Clinton, who tweeted on Wednesday as follows:
‘Under the cover of darkness, by choosing to do nothing, the Supreme Court allowed an unconstitutional abortion ban in Texas to go into effect last night. Their decision doesn’t change the fact that reproductive rights are human rights. We’ll fight for them.’
Under the cover of darkness, by choosing to do nothing, the Supreme Court allowed an unconstitutional abortion ban in Texas to go into effect last night.
Their decision doesn’t change the fact that reproductive rights are human rights. We'll fight for them.https://t.co/hp1N6G2S3M
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 1, 2021
Progress on other issues could also be significantly affected by who controls the Senate after the midterm elections. For now, Democratic control of the chamber has allowed Democrats an easier time passing the monumental COVID-19 economic relief package from earlier this year and a more recent budget resolution outlining a spending plan to support human development. Democratic control of the Senate has also helped with getting Biden’s nominees for various government positions confirmed, and these appointees have in turn been able to implement policy progress.