Rachel Maddow on SCOTUS draft: If a Republican wins in 2024, we'll have 'a nationwide abortion ban in America'

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MSNBC host Rachel Maddow offered a prediction of what will happen in America following the unprecedented leak from the Supreme Court showing the majority of justices intend on overturning Roe v. Wade. 

Politico rocked the political landscape on Monday night by publishing the first draft of what appears to be the majority opinion authored by Justice Samuel Alito that could mark the end the federal preservation of abortion and leave such laws to be determined on a state level. 

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“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division,” Alito wrote, according to Politico, referring to the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision that upheld the precedent. “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled… It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

Members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington. Seated from left are Associate Justice Samuel Alito, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer and Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Standing from left are Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Associate Justice Elena Kagan, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch and Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett. 

Members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington. Seated from left are Associate Justice Samuel Alito, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer and Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Standing from left are Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Associate Justice Elena Kagan, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch and Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett. 
(Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

During her primetime handoff with MSNBC colleague Chris Hayes, Maddow began by expressing shock at the first-ever leak of a Supreme Court opinion draft. 

Maddow then pivoted to reporting that Republicans on Capitol Hill, with the assumption that a red wave in the November midterms will give them the majority in Congress, are mulling legislation that would ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, something Maddow says is “effectively a complete ban on abortion” since pro-choice critics argue many women don’t know they are pregnant until after six weeks. 

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“If the ultimate ruling from the court is going to look anything like this- and we’re going into a midterm season where the Republicans are poised to take the House and the Senate, then, you know, President Biden is still President Biden, and he would presumably veto such a measure,” Maddow said. “But if in the event that we had a Republican president and 2024, that’s where we’d be. We’d be at, you know, South America-style nationwide abortion ban in America.”

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow. 

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow. 
(Virginia Sherwood/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

Hayes agreed, asserting “it would be the first bill” GOP lawmakers pass in Congress if they regain control. 

“I mean… this is like a four-number Sudoku. This isn’t a very hard puzzle, right?” Maddow said. “This is, in terms of people figuring out what the stakes are of their vote in November in terms of the midterms putting whichever party in control of either house of Congress, will among other things determine whether or not we’re about to become a country that bans abortion nationwide.” 

The “All In” host also cited “trigger laws” in 26 states that he warned would make abortions illegal “that moment” when the Supreme Court officially overturns Roe v. Wade.

The Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. 

The Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. 
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

“And as we’ve seen, abortion politics, particularly in Republican controlled states, get harder and harder and harder line… over a very short timeline as they’ve gotten close to knowing that a ruling like this is likely coming… there used to be a taboo on saying that, you know, ‘The doctors would go to prison.’ They’re now saying… in some states, they’re now talking about this bluntly, ‘Oh yeah, the doctors will go to prison,'” Maddow said. “But even more acutely, there used to be until very recently, there was a taboo on saying that a woman or even a child who was raped or who was the victim of incest- at least they wouldn’t be forced by the government to give birth against their will, to carry that pregnancy to term and give birth against their will, that increasingly- literally including girls who are pregnant as a result of rape or incest, they aren’t- those exceptions are disappearing one by one with each passing week every time a Republican legislature takes up this issue.”

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“And so we’re now at the precipice of something that’s become a much more extreme prospect becoming exceedingly likely. Both of the radicalism and the practicality are speeding toward the same cliff,” Maddow added.

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