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US Republican lawmakers block bill to make abortion legal nationwide

The Senate failed to codify abortion rights before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, according to a leaked draft opinion

The Senate failed to codify abortion rights before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, according to a leaked draft opinion (Image: Getty Images/AP)

The US Senate has failed to pass Democrat-led legislation that would protect access to abortion nationwide before the Supreme Court makes the final Roe v Wade decision.

In a 51-49 vote Wednesday, Democrats fell short of the 60 votes needed to codify abortion laws. All 50 Republicans opposed the bill and were supported by one Democrat, Senator Joe Manchin.

Given the 50-50 split between Republicans and Democrats in the upper house, it was expected that the Women’s Health Protection Act passed by the House of Representatives would fail in the Senate.

However, the bill gave Democrats an opportunity to show support for abortion rights — and even Vice President Kamala Harris led the vote, although she was unable to cast a decisive vote.

Vice President Kamala Harris chaired the Senate vote on Wednesday

Vice President Kamala Harris chaired Wednesday’s Senate vote (Images: Getty Images)

Just before the vote, women members of the House Progressive Caucus marched to the Senate Chamber chanting, “My body, my choice.”

Earlier Wednesday, Manchin confirmed that “I will not vote for the law,” saying its provisions went beyond Roe v Wade’s letter.

President Joe Biden slammed the GOP after the vote.

“Republicans in Congress — none of whom voted for this legislation — have chosen to stand in the way of Americans’ rights to make the most personal decisions about their own bodies, families and lives,” Biden said.

“To protect the right to vote, voters must elect more pro-choice senators this November and return a pro-choice majority to the House of Representatives. If so, Congress can pass that legislation in January and put it on my desk for me to sign into law.’

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer tried to file a lawsuit to stop Republicans from thwarting the bill. Schumer knew he didn’t have the votes to make the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case federal law, but wanted to put the anti-abortion lawmakers on record with their opposition.

“For the first time in 50 years, a conservative majority, an extreme majority on the Supreme Court is about to declare that women have no freedom over their own bodies, in one of the longest regressions in the entire history of the court.” Schumer said ahead of the vote, citing ex-President Donald Trump’s allies at Make America Great Again.

“For MAGA Republicans, it’s always been about making abortion illegal everywhere.”

Breaking news, check back for updates…

https://metro.co.uk/2022/05/11/us-republican-lawmakers-block-bill-to-keep-abortion-legal-nationwide-16628455/ US Republican lawmakers block bill to make abortion legal nationwide

Justin Scacco

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