WASHINGTON — The draft decision by the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade sent a shock wave through Capitol Hill on Tuesday, with Democrats condemning the decision and strategizing about how to preserve access to abortion.
Democrats discussed new efforts to pass legislation to enshrine the protections of Roe v. Wade into law, and another push to eliminate the legislative filibuster, which requires 60 votes for a bill to move forward. But in an evenly split Senate, where Republicans and one conservative Democrat—Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia—have already voted against moving forward with legislation guaranteeing the right to an abortion, few legislative paths looked viable.
The outrage was palpable.
“We will fight it all the way,” said Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, who pledged a new vote on legislation to preserve abortion rights.
“This is a dark and disturbing morning for America,” Mr. Schumer said, speaking on the Senate floor. “The Supreme Court is poised to inflict the greatest restriction of rights in the past 50 years, not just on women but on all Americans. Under this decision, our children will have less rights than their parents. The Republican-appointed justices’ reported votes to overturn Roe v. Wade would go down as an abomination, one of the worst, most damaging decisions in modern history.”
Mr. Schumer accused several conservative justices on the court of lying to the Senate when they had reportedly assured senators they believed Roe v. Wade was settled law.
Senator Susan Collins, a centrist Republican from Maine, said in a statement she felt misled by Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh, whom she had supported.
“If this leaked draft opinion is the final decision and this reporting is accurate, it would be completely inconsistent with what Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh said in their hearings and in our meetings in my office,” Ms. Collins said.
Mr. Manchin told reporters he had no comment on “leaks coming from the Supreme Court.”
Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota and chairwoman of the Rules Committee, said on CBS that voters would likely have to sweep Democrats into office in the November election to protect the right to abortion.
“We would not have the votes to basically enshrine the protections of Roe v. Wade into law,” Ms. Klobuchar said. “Now we’re going to have a patchwork of state laws. We will do all we can to do this. Maybe we will get more Republicans. But most likely this will end up at the ballot box.”
She predicted women would go to the polls in “numbers we’ve never seen before.”
Senator Tina Smith, Democrat of Minnesota, tweeted an expletive. Representative Elissa Slotkin, Democrat of Michigan, said her “poor mother is turning over in her grave.” Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted: “This will fall on the poorest women in our country. This will fall on young women who have been abused, who are victims of incest.”
For their part, Congressional Republicans were mostly focused on condemning the leak.
Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the minority leader, said the “stunning breach was an attack on the independence of the Supreme Court.”
“By every indication, this was yet another escalation in the radical left’s ongoing campaign to bully and intimidate federal judges and substitute mob rule for the rule of law,” Mr. McConnell said in a statement.
Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, called the leak “a blatant attempt to intimidate the court through public pressure rather than reasoned argument.”
“I hope my fellow former clerks and the entire legal community will join me in denouncing this egregious breach of trust,” he wrote on Twitter.