Senate Republicans Block Vote to Guarantee Abortion Access Nationwide


Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia joined all Republicans to oppose a invoice that will successfully codify the precise to an abortion throughout the U.S.

The Girls’s Well being Safety Act, a Democratic-led invoice that will codify a proper to an abortion, didn’t move, after it didn’t attain the Senate’s 60-vote threshold. (Screenshot from C-SPAN)

“Do you belief sufferers? Do you belief medical doctors? Do you imagine each American ought to have the ability to make deeply private selections about parenting with out authorities interference?” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) requested colleagues forward of Wednesday’s vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act, federal laws that will codify Roe v. Wade into legislation and set up the authorized proper to abortion in all 50 states. “In case your reply is sure, then your vote must be on this as effectively.” 

Finally, the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) didn’t safe the 60-vote threshold wanted to make it to the ground for a vote. All Senate Republicans, joined by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), prevented Senate cloture, which might have compelled a vote. 

Current for the vote was Vice President Kamala Harris, who has spoken out forcefully on behalf of abortion rights. “Girls in nearly half the nation may see their entry to abortion severely restricted,” Harris said in a speech last week at a gala hosted by EMILY’s List. “These Republican leaders who’re making an attempt to weaponize the usage of the legislation in opposition to girls, effectively we are saying, ‘How dare they! How dare they inform a girl what she will be able to do and can’t do along with her personal physique. How dare they!’”

A attainable avenue to move WHPA could be to approve a suspension of the filibuster—both for all laws, or just for this abortion-related invoice—which might solely require 50 votes. However with out all Democrats in favor, the chamber didn’t have a easy majority vote (50 plus Harris’s tie-breaking vote) essential to make the procedural change. The two Democrats opposed to a filibuster carve-out for abortion are Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) and Manchin, and all Senate Republicans. 

WHPA has been reintroduced in a number of congressional periods, however this iteration of the invoice saw the highest numbers of original co-sponsors ever. The U.S. Home of Consultant made historical past in September of final yr when it turned the primary U.S. legislative physique to move the invoice—albeit narrowly, in a 218–211 vote—simply three weeks after the state of Texas handed essentially the most excessive abortion ban in U.S. historical past on the time. All Home Republicans and Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas voted in opposition to it. (Cuellar now faces a Democratic main challenger: Jessica Cisneros, a 28-year-old progressive immigration legal professional operating on a platform supportive of reproductive rights. Cisneros and Cuellar will go to a runoff election on May 24, after neither obtained greater than 50 % wanted to win outright.)

This isn’t WHPA’s first look within the Senate. On Monday, Feb. 28, WHPA didn’t move within the Senate for the primary time; Senate Republicans, once more joined by Manchin, blocked the invoice.

“We want our elected members of Congress to do higher,” stated Dr. Jamila Perritt, president and CEO of Physicians for Reproductive Well being, after Wednesday’s vote. “This isn’t a theoretical, future downside; we’re in disaster proper at this very second.”

When initially asserting the invoice’s vote, Sen. Majority Chief Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) instructed his colleagues final week the invoice boils down to 1 query: “Do girls on this nation have a primary proper to make their very own selections in the case of looking for an abortion—sure or no?” Along with securing the precise to have an abortion, WHPA would additionally assure abortion suppliers’ capability to carry out the process.  

In a uncommon prevalence, Vice President Kamala Harris presided over Wednesday’s WHPA vote, which was 49-51. (Screenshot from C-SPAN)

Sixty % of Individuals imagine the Supreme Court docket ought to uphold its 1973 choice in Roe v. Wade, which established the constitutional proper to abortion, based on a Washington Post-ABC News poll from November; simply 27 % imagine it must be overturned. When requested particularly concerning the Texas legislation, which bans abortions after six weeks following somebody’s menstrual interval and is enforced by personal vigilantes, a good bigger share—65 %—suppose the Supreme Court docket ought to reject the legislation. Seventy-five % of Individuals suppose the choice whether or not or to not have an abortion “must be left to the lady and her physician.” 

The invoice’s chance to move on Wednesday was an extended shot—however Schumer’s choice to name one other WHPA vote was a strategic one, because it requested senators to formally state their place on abortion entry, giving Democrats leverage to assault Republicans forward of the midterms.  Schumer stated of the vote, “Each American goes to see the place each senator stands.”

Might 14 Rallies Throughout the U.S.

Saturday, Might 14, will see large protests nationwide in protection of abortion rights. Head here to find or host a march near you.

Sign and share Ms.’s relaunched “We Have Had Abortions” petition—whether or not you your self have had an abortion, or just stand in solidarity with those that have—to let the Supreme Court docket, Congress and the White Home know: We is not going to hand over the precise to secure, authorized, accessible abortion.

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