ARIZONA, USA — U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is pointing some blame at Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema for not doing more to protect reproductive rights as the nation waits to see if the Supreme Court will overturn Roe vs. Wade.
The Democratic congresswoman from New York suggested Sinema should be held accountable for not approving changes to the Senate's filibuster rules, which Ocasio-Cortez believes could have helped guarantee access to abortions.
Sinema has been repeatedly criticized by members of her own party for not siding with Democrats to change the Senate's 60-vote majority rule in order to bypass Republicans and pass more progressive legislation.
Until Sinema changes her stance on filibustering, Ocasio-Cortez said the senator can "take a seat" when talking about "women's access to health care."
Sinema has previously said she supports the 60-vote threshold because it forces senators to work together and find common ground.
But Ocasio-Cortez thinks Sinema's lack of support for changing the rules warrants a Democrat primarying the senator when she's up for re-election in 2024.
Earlier this year, Democrats in the Senate attempted to pass a bill that would have protected abortion rights under federal law. Sinema voted for the legislation, but it was still 14 votes shy of meeting the 60-vote threshold – getting rid of the filibuster would not help it pass at this point.
The future of reproductive rights appears to be dire after a Supreme Court draft leaked this week indicated the justices might overturn the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. The draft opinion is not considered an official ruling.
In response to the draft, Sinema said Tuesday she would "continue working with anyone to protect women’s ability to make decisions about their futures."
Here's Sinema's full statement:
"A woman’s health care choices should be between her, her family, and her doctor. Overturning Roe v. Wade endangers the health and wellbeing of women in Arizona and across America. Protections in the Senate safeguarding against the erosion of women's access to health care have been used half-a-dozen times in the past ten years, and are more important now than ever. Throughout my time in Congress, I've always supported women's access to health care, I'm a cosponsor of the Women's Health Protection Act, and I'll continue working with anyone to protect women's ability to make decisions about their futures.”
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