Democrats’ Effort to Secure Roe v. Wade Fails

Bill fails in 49-51 vote.

QUICK FACTS:
  • The Senate on Wednesday rushed and failed to codify Roe v. Wade abortion access as federal law in a 49-51 vote.
  • Democrats fell short of the 60 out of 100 Senate votes needed to advance their “Women’s Health Protection Act.”
  • The bill would have banned states from placing any restrictions on abortion.
  • All Republicans voted against the measure, in addition to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who said the bill went too far.
  • Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who said the bill goes too far, voted against the measure. “Make no mistake, it is not Roe v. Wade codification,” he said. “It is an expansion.”
  • Two Republican senators who usually oppose abortion restrictions, Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), also voted no on the measure.
WHAT OPPOSITION TO THE BILL SAID:
  • Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, criticized the Women’s Health Protection Act, describing it as a “radical, abortion on-demand bill” that would have destroyed protections for religious liberty and allowed for partial-birth abortions. It “essentially makes abortion available on-demand from the time of conception till the time of delivery,” Cornyn said.
  • Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska, said that while the Democrat’s bid was too extreme, he nevertheless wants to work across the aisle to build more care for pregnant women. “I want to lock arms with pro-life Democrats and work to build a culture of life,” Sasse said. “If we can pair pro-life laws with increased spending on prenatal care and safety nets for struggling moms, great – let’s do it.”
BACKGROUND:
  • Senate Democrats were trying to head off an almost certain Supreme Court opinion—recently leaked by POLITICO—that is expected to overturn the nearly 50-year-old Roe v. Wade decision that established the national right to abortion.
  • Dozens of House Democrats marched from the House of Representatives to the Senate chanting “My body, my decision” shortly before the vote.