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Sen. Susan Collins. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Political and national leaders quickly criticized Alabama's newly passed abortion ban after it passed on Wednesday, including 2020 presidential candidates and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who said the legislation is "so extreme" that she can't foresee the courts upholding it.

What's new: RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said she "personally opposes" the new law on Friday, Politico reports. She emphasized that she would preserve exemptions to allow abortion in cases of incest and rape, which the new law does not.

The big picture: Collins isn't the only Republican criticizing Alabama's ban. Televangelist Pat Robertson also called the new law "extreme," adding that the Alabama legislators clearly want to challenge Roe v. Wade, but this isn't the case to take to the Supreme Court since he expects it would lose, reports the Washington Post.

What else they're saying:

  • In response to the new law, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) said as president he would codify abortion rights into law and appoint Supreme Court justices who want to protect Roe v. Wade.
  • Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) sent a campaign email urging her supporters to donate to pro-abortion organizations and took to Twitter, writing: "Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio & now Alabama - these anti-abortion bills aren't a coincidence, it's a concerted effort by the GOP to overturn Roe v. Wade. I'm sick and tired of this outright assault on women's bodily autonomy - we will fight this with everything we've got."
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted: "Abortion is a constitutional right," and said his Medicare for All plan would help cover the procedure.
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) tweeted: "The Georgia and Alabama abortion bans are wrong. They are dangerous. They are unconstitutional. And they are out of step with the majority of Americans."
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tweeted: "When I was growing up, people got abortions. Desperate women turned to back alley butchers or even tried the procedure on their own. Some were lucky, but others weren't. They all went through hell. Access to safe, legal abortion is a constitutional RIGHT. Full stop."
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has been campaigning against the recent abortion bans in Georgia and Alabama, calling them "outrageous" and saying she'd only appoint judges who supported Roe v. Wade.
  • The general public has responded to the new Alabama abortion ban by sending thousands of dollars in donations to numerous organizations around the country, and specifically in Alabama.
  • California Rep. Kevin McCarthy — the House minority leader — told reporters that Alabama'a new law "goes further than I believe," adding he think exceptions should be made for "rape, incest and life of the mother," per the AP.

Go deeper: Where abortion restriction stands: The states that have passed laws

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

North Korea claims latest missile test new weapon launched from submarine

North Korean state media claims the country's military fired this missile on Tuesday. Photo: Korean Central News Agency

North Korean state media announced that a detected ballistic missile launch off its east coast on Tuesday was a newly developed weapon test-fired from a submarine.

Why it matters: Pyongyang's latest in a series of recent missile launches into the sea happened hours after U.S. officials emphasized their commitment to restart negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which have stalled since talks broke down during the Trump administration, AP notes.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.

The China whisperer

Nick Burns. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee for ambassador to China will face aggressive questioning Wednesday about the most important, and potentially perilous, bilateral relationship in the world.

Why it matters: While Nick Burns is an experienced diplomat with support on both sides of the aisle, lawmakers want to use his confirmation hearing to force the administration into some tough positions on China.