Senate GOP, Manchin Block Abortion Rights Legislation

(The hill) — Senate Republicans, along with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), on Wednesday blocked legislation intended to enshrine abortion protections in law before a conservative-majority Supreme Court hearing the Roe v . Wade decision.

Democrats were more than 10 votes short of moving the bill forward, which has been touted as a way to defeat Roe v. Wade guaranteeing abortion rights to be enacted into law. It took 60 votes to move forward.

The expected outcome is likely to fuel emotions after a leaked draft decision last week showed the Supreme Court was poised to take the historic step of overturning its landmark 1973 abortion rights decision.

Democrats have warned the decision would nullify the rights of millions of women for nearly half a century, with the ill effects disproportionately hitting the poor.

“Today’s vote is one of the most consequential in decades, as for the first time in fifty years a conservative majority – an extreme majority – in the Supreme Court is on the verge of declaring that women have no freedom over their own bodies, one of the longest steps backwards throughout the history of the court; A decision, if made, will go down as one of the worst court decisions of all time. The name of this decision will live in shame,” said Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (DN.Y.).

Republicans argued that legislation being considered by the Senate goes further than most Americans would like on abortion rights and violates religious freedom and state laws.

“Our fellow Democrats want to vote for abortion on demand every nine months, up until the moment before a baby is born. A failed show vote that will only prove its own extremism,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said.

Democrats hope anger over the possibility of abortion rights being severely undermined will be a wake-up call for their supporters in the midterm elections.

Schumer previewed the Democrats’ argument. “Americans strongly oppose getting rid of Roe, and they will pay close attention to the Republicans responsible for his downfall from now through November,” he said.

Schumer previewed the Democrats’ argument. “Americans strongly oppose getting rid of Roe, and they will pay close attention to the Republicans responsible for his downfall from now through November,” he said.

Murkowski and Collins, along with Manchin, three alternate votes in the Senate, all voted against the Democratic legislation.

Manchin backed up the GOP arguments to some extent, saying the bill on the floor went too far.

“We’re going to vote for a law that I’m not going to vote for today,” Manchin told reporters ahead of the vote. “But I would support a codification of Roe v. Wade would vote if it were today. I was hoping for that, but I found out in the caucus yesterday that it wasn’t going to be.”

The battle lines in the Senate over abortion rights have been clear for years. But the leaked draft, reported by Politico, reignited a firestorm on Capitol Hill that has largely been the dominant topic on which senators have been talking for about a week since. c

Chief Justice John Roberts has recognized the draft’s authenticity, although he said in a statement that it does not represent the final word of the court.

It has been reported that four other conservative judges on the court are willing to vote with Alito to have Roe v. to knock down Wade independently of Roberts. The decision, and which judges will vote in favor of it, is not final until it is publicly announced.

Multiple polls have shown that a majority of voters support confirming Roe, giving Democrats an opening on the issue.

Sixty-four percent of respondents to aCBS News/YouGov pollsaid they believed the Supreme Court should keep the decision as is. Likewise, 66 percent of respondents to aCNN pollstated that Roe v. Wade shouldn’t be put down.

Democrats made changes to the legislation from an initial version that failed in the Senate earlier this year, aiming to bolster support in their own caucus.

Democrats removed a section of non-binding statements that, among other things, called abortion restrictions maintaining “white supremacy” and called it a “tool of gender oppression.”

The bill would prevent governments from restricting a health care provider’s ability to prescribe certain drugs or prevent health care providers from offering immediate abortion services when delay would put a patient’s health at risk, according to the Congressional Research Service.

It also prevents governments from requiring a patient to make “medically unnecessary in-person visits” prior to an abortion, and would also prevent the government from requiring patients to disclose why they want an abortion.

The bill would also broadly prevent governments from enacting laws that create similar boundaries or that “single out the provision of abortion services, healthcare providers that provide abortion services, or facilities where abortion services are provided” and “restrict access to abortion services more difficult”. .”

In a victory for Democrats, Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) announced this week that he would support the body of the legislation.

But Manchin, who also voted against the earlier version of the bill, remained opposed.

Democrats swear the fight isn’t over yet, but where it will lead next is unclear. Some progressives are calling on the Senate to create a spin-off or scrap the legislative filibuster, which requires 60 votes for most legislation to pass abortion protections. But both Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) reiterated earlier this month that they support the filibuster.

Democrats, who led the months-long discussion about changing the rules, say a filibuster change was not part of the caucus’ internal discussions about how to respond to the draft Supreme Court ruling.

“Everybody’s position is pretty much set … I haven’t really heard that as a point of discussion in caucus,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said.

Kaine is in early talks with Collins to see if they could find compromise legislation to codify Roe, although both stressed they were not close to tabling legislation.

But a compromise, if they can reach one, could struggle to get 60 votes in the Senate given the deep divisions over abortion. That would leave the final say to the Supreme Court — and then states across the country. Thirteen states have so-called “trigger laws” that would do thatenterAbortion to be largely banned immediately.

“The unfortunate reality is that 26 more states are poised to ban abortion rights in the absence of Roe,” said Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). “What shall the women of these states do?”

https://fox5sandiego.com/news/politics/senate-gop-manchin-block-abortion-rights-legislation/ Senate GOP, Manchin Block Abortion Rights Legislation

Sarah Y. Kim

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