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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  June 24, 2022 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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a.m. and noon eastern until sunday. until then, follow me on facebook, instagram, the tictac. you can listen to the lead wherever you get you podcast, all two hours for you to enjoy on a hot summer day. our coverage continues with wolf blitzer in a place i like to call ""the situthe "the situati" i'll see you tomorrow night. happening now, determine stations at the u.s. supreme court where 50 years of federal abortion rights for women have been struck down. new reaction to the ruling overturning roe versus wade looking for the consequences for the nation and legal and health battles ahead. also tonight, the house gives final approval to the first federal gun safety bill in decades as president biden
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prepares to sign it into law. will it make a difference in the epidemic of gun violence in the united states? i'll ask the new york city mayor eric adams. we want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf f blitzer, you're "the situation room". we begin with the u.s. supreme court decision undoing a half century old precedent and ending a woman's guaranteed federal right to an abortion. cnn justice correspondent jessica schneider has more on the ruling and ramifications. >> hell no we don't need roe. >> reporter: roe v. wade roe v. wade no longer the law of the land. eliminating the right to abortion and leaving all decisions concerning abortion rights to individual states. the final 5-4 majority opinion striking the draft from justice
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samuel a lee toe. in a dissenting opinion, the court's liberal justices lament the current state of the conservative court saying with sorrow for this court and many millions of american women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection, we descent. the monument l move made possible by asu supermajority including three of donald trump's nominees. voting to uphold mississippi's 15-week abortion ban but stopping short of overturning roe v. wade. it is a decision for two of the justices that voted to overturn roe after they seemed to indicate at their confirmation hearings they wouldn't. >> it's an important precedent of the court. >> that's the law of the land. i accept the law of the land, senator, yes. >> reporter: democrats including president are outraged. >> this is not over.
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>> reporter: and urging voters to back candidates that back abortion rights in the mid term elections. >> how about those justices coming before the senators and saying they respected the precedent of the court. this cruel ruling is outrageous and heart wrenching but make no mistake, it's on the ballot in nove november. >> reporter: protests are setting up around the country. 26 states are likely to ban abortion completely including 13 states that have trigger laws on the books that set abortion bans into motion as soon as roe is overturned. arkansas's governor tweeting we're able now to protect life and south dakota's governor responding as of today, all abortions are illegal in south dakota. the supreme court's decision could put others at risk like same-sex marriage and access to contraception as justice thomas is calling for the court to reconsider those other rulings
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writing we have a duty to correct the error established in those precedents while aleto promised nothing should be understand to cast doubt on precedents that don't support abortion but nobody should be confident this majority is done with work. and six states bonanned abortio pending action from the courts and state officials. on the flip side, there are 16 states plus d.c. that have enacted laws to protect abortion rights and those states are expecting an influx of patients crossing state lines to seek abortions. wolf f? >> thank you very much. president biden is warning the supreme court's decision is putting the health and lives of women here in the united states at risk. let's bring in kaitlan collins. kaitlin, the white house is bracing for this decision.
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tell our viewers what other reaction you're getting. >> reporter: yeah, the white house is stealing themselves for this decision to come down since that draft opinion leaked several weeks ago. so much so that president biden had a speech written when the ruling came down today. he just reviewed it after being briefed by his chief of staff on the final ruling made a few changes to his speech and then came out and declared it this sad solum day for america where you're right, wolf, he said the health and lives of women are now at risk and he talked about the fact that justices for decades have upheld this ruling. justices he noted had been appointed by republicans and democrats but said that changed, wolf and said something today he doesn't often do which is invoke the name of his predecessor. >> it's a sad day for the court and for the country, now with roe gone, let's be very clear, the health and life of women in this nation are now at risk by
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three justices named by one president, donald trump where the court of today's decision to up end the scales of justice and eliminate a fundamental right for women in this country. >> reporter: of course, wolf, the question for the white house is what they're going to do in response to this. the president today talked about measures, the justice department defending the rights of women that want to travel out of state if they can't get an abortion in their home state to go to another state and talked about eliminating barriers to access to abortion medication you can get in the mail but really, there is only so much the president can do. there is no executive action he can sign to restore this constitutional right taken away with this ruling from the supreme court today, which is why you saw president biden urging americans who believe in the right to have an abortion, the right to choose to go and vote come november in the midterm elections. telling them to elect more pro-choice lawmakers and saying they should make no mistake he
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does believe roe v. wade is on the ballot this november, wolf. >> we're showing pictures of demonstrations in many cities across the country. thank you very much. let's bring in our team of legal analysts, jeffrey toobin, laura co coates. what does today's ruling mean for millions of american women? >> reporter: it means that we woke up with certain rights and we'll go to bed with less rights than our grand mothers had, our mothers had, in some instances including myself, my great grandmother had. this is something especially the supreme court is saying you actually never should have had that right in the first place it was so wrongly decided those rights never should have existed in the first instance. the problem is while many people may look now and say these are the rights impacting women, there are things on the horizon under the same judicial philosophy if it wasn't part of the nation's long rooted history, it should never have
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existed, that will include things like same-sex marriage and same-sex sexual relations and contraception and marriage and enter racial marriage, as well. this is in fact a solum day because it seemed as though the rights we thought we had never existed at all according to the majority of the supreme court. >> you make an important point. jennifer, you point out in the rare instances that when the supreme court had actually reversed itself, it's typically been done to grant more rights, not take them away. how unprecedented is this decision today? >> well, it's completely unprecedented. it's really a new low for the court, wolf. that's exactly right. never before has the court in one case roe recognized a constitutional right that it identifies in the case and then later reversing that saying sorry, we gave you this right. you held it for 49 years and now it's gone. the supreme court made mistakes before. they have never done this.
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it really is a historic low for the court. >> absolutely right. jeffrey, this opinion states that i'm quoting now roe was egregiously wrong from the start. were you surprised to see this so closely echoed, the leak draft opinion also weeks away from justice aleto? >> not really. this is what the justice felt for many years and justice thomas felt for many years and donald trump when he ran for president, he said i am going to appoint justices to the court to overturn roe v. wade. three trump justices, thomas, alito that gets you to five. this is a goal of the conservative. this is the reason why conservatives stood by donald trump despite all the scandals, despite his personal life. they got what they wanted out of the trump presidency today. >> yeah, they certainly did.
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you know, laura, does this ruling open the flood gates potentially for lawsuits against abortion providers or indeed anyone who helps a woman get an abortion? >> it does. also presents interstate conflicts now in terms of whether somebody in one state is helping a person in another state, what are the implications there? it really is going to bewolf. how is one to enforce this in civil lawsuits or the criminal context? it's one thing to out law abortion but how will you criminalize abortion? that's the next leap here. how do you solve your cases? how do you prove your cases? how do you demonstrate if the womb itself will be the so-called crime scene. how do you exactly prove an illegal abortion has occurred or been aided in some meaningful way by somebody without trampling on other privacy interests including doctor/patient confidentiality.
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are tracking devices going to be subpoenaed? it really is unprecedented. >> there is an arm's race amongst states to have the strict's anti abortion laws, the ones that reach the most extensively across state lines to criminalize efforts to help women have abortions so one of the issues to keep an eye on here is, you know, if someone in a state where abortion is legal helps someone get an abortion, is that person in new york, say, a legalized abortion state, is that person going to be prosecuted in oklahoma or missouri where they -- where abortion and helping getting an abortion is illegal? this legal land -- this is going to be a legal fight that goes on and on for probably the rest of all of our lifetime. >> jeffrey, i want to follow up with you. you're an expert on the supreme court. justice clarence thomas is
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conquering opinion wrote this and i'm quoting him now. in future cases we should reconsider this court's substantive due process including grizwald, lawrence. what does that mean as far as you're concerned? >> well, what it means is justice alito's opinion says in effect we're only going to recognize konls constitutional rights that are actually mentioned in the constitution. the constitution does not use the word abortion. abortion is not protected. those three cases involve constitutional rights that the court has recognized that are not in the contusion. grizwald was the right of ma married people to buy contraception. the right to same-sex marriage. la lawrence v. texas was protections. justice thomas wants to see those go away. that is entirely consistent with
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today's decision and it's next on the conservative agenda in the supreme court. >> yeah, and jennifer, i would like you and our viewers to watch how a trump dominated justice and gorsuch and kavanaugh previously spoke about roe versus wade during their confirmation hearings. listen to this. >> that's the law of the land. i respect the law of the land, senator, yes. >> as a judge, it's an important precedent by the supreme court. by it i mean roe v. wade and planned parent heard versus casey. >> so did they actually lie during those confirmation hearings? >> if you mean did they mislead the senators, were they disingenuous, yes. did they lie and are prosecutable for perjury, the answer has to be - -
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>> that's what happened today. all right, jennifer rogers, jeffrey toobin, laura coates, thank you very much. just ahead, we'll have much more on the u.s. supreme court ruling overturning roe v. wade and the protests taking place across the country tonight plus congress passes the first major federal gun safety bill in decades.
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call for your free publisher kit today! we're following protests across the country against the supreme court ruling overturning roe v. wade and the first federal gun safety bill passed by congress in decades is awaiting president biden's signature. it's a breakthrough coming on the heels of mass shootings that increase pressure on lawmakers to take action. cnn congressional correspondent jessica dean is joining us from capitol hill now. democrats are celebrating the bill's passage even though it falls far short of what most of them actually wanted. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. there is a lot of things in the bill democrats want thed for ye that didn't make it in, an assault weapons ban and raising
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the minimum age to purchase guns but they're trying to focus on what they did get. chris murphy from connecticut said i don't want perfect to be the enemy of the good and i'm not going to support something that isn't meaty and going to save lives so that was really on the minds of him and kiryrsten sinema as they negotiated with republican colleagues, john cornyn and thom tillis to get this legislation. what it does do is closed the so-called boyfriend loophole meaning anyone convicted of domestic violence can't get their hands on a gun. that's something that has vexed lawmakers for years up here. they haven't been able to find a way through on that. it's also going to put forth significant funding for mental health, for school safety, for community safety. it's going to put a federal ban on the purchase of straw guns and drug gun trafficking. so it's going to do a number of things including incentive
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states for crisis intervention programs, something like a red flag law, wolf. there is a lot here. we should note 14 house gop members stepping forward to join democratic colleagues going against leadership that didn't just come out against this but actively whipping against the bill but again, 14 house gop members coming forward to support this legislation, which now heads to president biden's desk. >> he's expected to sign it very, very soon. thank you very, very much. let's discuss what is going on with the new york city mayor eric adams. thank you for joining us. as you know, we have a lot to discuss. let's start with today's vote. this marks as i noted the first time in decades congress is able to act on gun safety here in the united states. how far do you think this will go curbing gun violence in new york city? >> it's been stated over and over again there are many rivers that feed the sea of violence, in particular gun violence.
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we codammed one of those rivers today with the legislation on state, federal and city levels but let's continue to evolve to have the city and country free of this type of violence. >> this, of course, comes after yesterday's u.s. supreme court decision striking down a century old new york state law massively now expanding gun rights in new york. does this put new yorkers from your prospective, mayor, in greater danger? >> without a doubt and it's two days in a row, two days in a row we saw our chief justice supreme court really go after our safety two days in a row. we witnessed them go against the american people and two days in a row we saw them carry out politics over the true roe that the supreme court can take. this is unimaginable when you think how this impacts new york city. we are stating that one of the most difficult places to keep
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guns out of the hands of people who are dangerous, we are now stating we're going to make it more difficult for police officers. >> and you're a former police officer yourself. i know you called today's u.s. supreme court ruling overturning roe v. wade a direct attack on women but have a message anyone seeking abortions around the country in your words is welcome to come to new york city. do you see new york city as a safe haven potentially for abortion services? >> yes, we do. and we made it clear when we first heard that this ruling was leaked, we started putting things in place that is going to protect women seeking a safe haven, a city that is going to allow them to have control over their bodies. we're going to make sure there is counseling. we're going ging to outilize o website for free information and
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the health care system will support those who want to make these important decisions. >> you shared something today very, very personal that as a teenager, your then girlfriend decided to get an abortion. why did you decide, mayor, to open up about this today? >> because this is a real moment. as many of my leaders and my administration, five of my deputy mayors are women and some of them shared some very personal moments and people need to know that every time an individual makes a decision or woman makes a decision to terminate a pregnancy, there is a story behind it. my life would have been different and the child that was born would have been born would have been different and linda made an important decision that i believe she had the right to do because it was her body and she made that decision based on where i was in my life. >> the new york city mayor eric adams, thanks for joining us. we'll continue this conversation
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and see demonstrations in new york city right now in the aftermath of this u.s. supreme court decision. appreciate it. >> thank you. coming up, we're tracking these demonstrations around the country. look at the pictures we're showing you now as americans act to the supreme court decision overturning roe v. wade. we'll also get reaction to the ruling from the chair of the house progressive caucus representative mpramila jie jay jayapal. verizon two minutes ag. (mom brown) ours were busted and we ststay! (dad allen) so, wait. everybody gets the same great deal? (mom allen) i think that's the point. (vo) now everyone can get a new iphone 13 on us on america's most reliable 5g network. (allen kid) can i have a phone? (vo) for every customer. current, new, everyone. to show the love.
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views on today's historic and monumental ruling striking down roe v. wade. the decision wipes out the federally guaranteed right to an abortion women had in the united states for half a century. let's discuss this issue and more with the chair democratic r representative pramila jayapal. i know this is personal for you, as well. what does today's ruling mean for american women. >> wolf, this is a catastrophic decision that strips away freedom, liberty and status of women across this country in this decision by saying a woman would be forced to have a pregnancy and forced to carry a fetus to term and forced to deal with the consequences of that with no autonomous freedom to make her choice and decide when,
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whether and with whom she's going to have a child and it's a remarkable insult on women's rights. not only that, wolf, the other things that are contained within this decision because the dissenting opinion is clear reproductive freedom is tied to the other autonomies that a bomb enjoys. so whether or not we have a career and how. how we're going to be back in the workplace. all of those things are also contained here added to the fact justice thomas's conquering opinion very much says clearly this is not the end. if the arguments made and the majority's opinion that essentially none of these are protected unless protected in the constitution at the beginning or ratified in the
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14th amendment by men, not by people, ratified by men, same-sex marriage, contraception and eninter racial marriage at stake here. >> you're right. you have opened up very publicly and personal about the difficult decision you made to have an abortion when that pregnancy was deemed high risk to your health. based on what you went through, that millions others will no longer have that choice that you h have. >> yes, i'm one of the one in four that had an abortion. i had a child and i had a heart wrenching decision whether i was capable of having a child and whether i would be protected and the child's life would be protected. all of the things that went into that and as you look at what is
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going to happen now because there are 13 states that will go into effect in the next 30 days, another seven states, this is tens of millions of women across this country who are now not going to be able to get an abortion because it's banned and if they're poor living with very few means, they won't have the money to be able to go to travel to another state like my state of washington protecting it and if you look at maternal mortality and the court points this out in the dissenting opinion, 33% of black women would suffer severe consequences. 33% of black women. i think this is a really, really
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important thing to look at, not just everyone's freedoms are being stripped away but that the freedoms of black women, brown women, indigenous women in this country particularly infringed upon and not that abortion is going to go away, wolf. let me tell you. abortion isn't going to go away. what will happen is it isn't legal that means more deaths and more illegal abortions and, you know, more pregnancies brought to term when people don't have the resources to do that. >> the article you wrote in the new york times, the story of my abortion very, very moving. i recommend our viewers they read it. very important. representative pramila jayapal, thank you for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. just ahead, former president trump's dangerous relationship with the u.s. justice department and how he tried to use it to keep his grip on power. stand by.
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protests are happening across the united states tonight after the u.s. supreme court overturning roe v. wade. we're following that story. also tonight, a source is now telling cnn that arizona republican party chair kelly ward and her husband have been va subpoenaed part of the federal investigation to appoint fake electors to try to keep former president trump in office following his election loss to joe biden. cnn's brian todd is here with a closer look how trump himself tried to misuse the u.s. justice department to hold on illegally to power. brian, what are you learning? >> reporter: wolf wolf, this we there was jarring details detail about donald trump's relentless pressure from early in his term to the final days.
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the dangerous moves of a desperate defeated president trying to get the department of justice to do his bidding. this week's hearings of the house select committee on january 6th focused partly on donald trump's efforts after the 2020 election and before the january 6th attack on the capitol to change the election results using that department as his lever. >> the treaties became more urgent and admit we weren't doing our job. we need to step up and do our job. >> reporter: part of a pattern former trump administration officials and analysts say donald trump exhibited almost from the moment he stepped into the oval office. >> the behavior is very dangerous. the former president saw the department of justice as an institution that should help his presidency and the attorney general is someone who worked for him rather than who protected the law. >> welcome to the white house. >> reporter: early on, trump relentlessly pressured his first attorney general jeff sessions
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to oversee the are russia investigation. when sessions refused and recused himself, trump publicly insulted him repeatedly like in an interview with fox news. >> i put an attorney general that never took control of the justice department. >> reporter: trump eventually fired sessions. >> there is -- he's become more famous than me. >> reporter: soon after taking office, trump pressured then fbi director james comey to drop an investigation into michael flynn. comey later claimed trump made a personal demand of him. >> i got the sense my job would be contingent upon how he felt i conducted myself and whether i demonstrated loyalty. >> reporter: trump denied asking for comey's loyalty but ended up firing comey, later saying he was frustrated over the on going russia probe. later, after then attorney general bill barr who had been a loyalest finally said he saw no evidence of wide spread election fraud in 2020 trump called barr quote stupid, a coward, a swamp
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creature. according to the mueller report, trump once asked why the department of justyjustice didn fight for him the way robert kennedy fought for his brother while john ken nedy was president. he said that's not the way a relationship between a president and attorney general should be. >> there is a long practice the president and the attorney general should not communicate about cases. president trump violated that pretty repeatedly throughout his administration. >> the analyst we spoke to are worried about the imprint it will leave. because trump hasn't been held accountable because of his behavior, future presidents think they can get away with similar tactics. wo wolf? >> brian todd, thank you. let's dig deeper cnn senior law analyst deputy director andrew mccabe. does that line up with your firsthand experience as someone
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that actually served in the fbi within the justice department under trump? >> absolutely it does. i was marveling listening to brian's piece how well he's captured the fact that this administration subjected the department of justice and the fbi to relentless pressure from the very earliest days of the administration and although our witnesses in the hearing yesterday told a compelling story about how they stood up to those final issuing of pressure by the white house around the january 6 th issue, let's not forget that the department had a very checkered past over the past four years in terms of responding to the pressure. you know, when the white house demanded that attorney general sessions essentially used the justice department to cook up justification for the muslim travel ban, jeff sessions did exactly that.
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i remember wolf, sitting in meetings with the attorney general, attorney general sessions on several occasions where we would be chastised and reminded that he thought our job was to do the president's agenda and push the president's agenda. we had a very different understanding of what our job was, of course, as fbi agents pushing the president's agenda is not part of that so i just -- i think although yesterday's testimony was compelling and it's ultimately a story of individuals who stood up to that withering pressure at a very important time the entire history of the justice department over the trump administration is much more checkered. >> as you correctly point out, andrew, trump treated the justice department and you worked there like his personal legal team. does it actually endanger american democracy for that kind of behavior to go unpunished? >> it absolutely does. look, we know that it does because we've seen so many
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examples of it over those four years in the trump administration. so if we now refuse to hold that administration, the people in it who helped the president execute those strategies, people like jeff clark, like john eastman, like rudy giuliani and ultimately, the former president himself, if they walk away from this abuse of this institution of america, the department of justice without any sort of accountability, what sort of message does that send to the next person that holds that office who might have the same sort of what rped understandingf the doj. >> as you know, andrew, federal agents raided the home of jeffrey clark, a former high level justice department official working to advance trump's election lies. what does that tell you? >> it tells you, wolf, this is a
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very dynamic on going and well developed criminal case. you don't start your case by going to a federal judge and making the argument you have probable cause to believe that there is evidence of a crime in the residence of a former high level doj official, in this case jeff clark. so there is a lot of work and investigation that got the fbi to that point, that they were able to make that argument successfully to a federal judge and would say one of the things i'm really looking for as this story continues to develop is more about the role of an individual named ken who was sent from the white house to work in the department of justice for jeffrey clark on december 15th presumably for the purpose of advancing his plot. >> i'm interested to know more about that, as well. thank you andrew mccabe for joining us. c coming up, following protests against the united states over the supreme court's
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live pictures of large crowds demonstrating in cities across the unix at this hour protesting the supreme court ruling today that ended 50 years of a federal right for women and girls here in the united states to have an abortion. following developments for us in atlanta right now, nick, what are you seeing and hearing there? >> reporter: hey there, wolf, major turnout here on the streets of atlanta as you can see behind me, several hundred
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people turned out. actually two demonstrations merged into one, in the last several minutes blocked a road here in front of georgia state capital, i'll get out of the way so you can see the size of the crowd here which as i mentioned, one of the demonstrations started in front of cnn center, marched to the capitol, while abortion is still legal here in georgia, not one of the trigger law states, are fears of the legal ramifications today's ruling could have on a 2019 bill passed here by republican governor bryan kemp, the heartbeat bill which bans abortions after a heartbeat can be detected at six weeks has been blocked by lower courts but today's decision by the supreme court will no doubt have legal ramifi ramifications on that bill. this group, they fear a right to border will be taken away from women in this state so showed up in mass, in numbers to protest today's rule. >> nick valencia in atlanta for
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us, thank you, let's head over to austin, texas now, one of the many cities seeing this protest today, shimon prokupecz is there for us. shimon, what's going on there? >> reporter: well, wolf, several hundred people now gathered here in downtown austin outside of the federal courthouse and let me show you, several hundred people gathered here, wolf, and you can see all the way through this crowd, they are listening to speakers. we've heard from women talk about their situations, various situations that they've been in. one woman talked about being raped by her husband and being forced to carry her children and other stories. really, wolf, what you're hearing here are stories of fear, stories of frustration. many of the women really just scared for their future. we've heard from young kids, heard from older folks here, people who have fought for years and years for their right for
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abortion rights. the other thing, one of the things we keep hearing from people here, wolf, is who this is going to affect the most here in texas, certainly, and it's women who can't travel out of the state. women who can't afford to travel out of the state, that is the biggest concern. of course, texas, as of today, basically abortion is illegal here in texas. you know, texas has been at the forefront of abortion rights, been fighting many of the laws and the different rules and the things that the governor has done and state levgislatures hae done, many say they'll continue to fight, voting out legislatures here, the governor, republican governor, but the one overall theme here wolf, we're seeing across the country and certainly here is fear and anger, wolf. >> all right, we'll stay in close touch with you, shimon prokupecz in austin, texas with us. thank you very much, we'll have more news just ahead.
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finally tonight, this is a day of remembrance, and surf side florida, exactly one year after the deadly condominium collapse there, first lady to joe biden spoke at a memorial honoring the men, women and children killed when a ocean front building crumbled in the middle of the night. just yesterday, georgia judge
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approved billion dollar settlement for building and families, recovering from the scene of this horrible and preventable disaster. we are certainly thinking of the vic victims tonight and as we say, may their memories be a blessing. thanks very much for watching, i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room," erin burnett, "outfront," starts right now. "outfront" next, protests growing across america at this hour, at least 70 protests planned tonight coast to coast after supreme court overturned roe v wade and tonight, fallout already felt in states, plus investigations into team trump's efforts tonight, new subpoenas along with key testimonies and grand jury to tell you tonight. another major story tonight,


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