WASHINGTON (Fwrd Axis) — The Senate failed to advance a bill led by Democrats to legalize abortion nationwide after Republicans used their filibuster to block the legislation.
The vote came after a leaked draft memo from the Supreme Court last week showed Roe v. Wade is likely to be overturned. The bill, called the Women’s Protection Act, passed the House but did not have the same fate in the Senate as it fell short of the 60 senators needed to break a filibuster.
All 50 Republicans and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va) voted against the bill, killing its chances of passing with a 51-49 vote.
“Republicans in Congress — not one of whom voted for this bill — have chosen to stand in the way of Americans’ rights to make the most personal decisions about their own bodies, families, and lives,” President Joe Biden said in a statement after the vote. “To protect the right to choose, voters need to elect more pro-choice senators this November and return a pro-choice majority to the House. If they do, Congress can pass this bill in January, and put it on my desk so that I can sign it into law.”
Democrats are using the issue as a key topic ahead of the midterm elections in November, which they are projected to lose following Biden’s negative approval ratings to voters’ concerns about inflation. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a floor speech the vote was the most important one the Senate has had in decades.
“For MAGA Republicans, this has always been about making abortion illegal everywhere,” he said.
Manchin said he felt the Democrats’ bill went too far and he would support anything to codify existing Supreme Court jurisprudence on abortion.
“Make no mistake. It is not Roe v. Wade codification. It’s an expansion,” he said. “It expands abortion. … We should not be dividing this country further than we’re already divided.”
A poll released before the vote leaked memo from the Supreme Court was published found 61 percent of U.S. adults say they want abortion to be legal while 19 percent say it should be legal in all cases.
“Our Democrat colleagues want to vote for abortion on demand through all nine months, until the moment before the baby is born — a failed show vote that will only prove their own extremism,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a floor speech Wednesday.