Democratic Senator Joe Manchin joined with Senate Republicans Wednesday to block abortion rights legislation intended to codify abortion protections ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court’s expected summer decision to overturn Roe V. Wade.
The measure failed 49-51. 60 Senate votes were needed for it to pass. Vice President Kamala Harris presided over the vote.
The bill would have barred states from banning abortion before fetal viability — generally considered 24 weeks.
“Today it will be Roe,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said just before the vote. “Tomorrow, it will be a national ban on abortion.”
“Once again — as fundamental rights are at risk at the Supreme Court — Senate Republicans have blocked passage of the Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill that affirmatively protects access to reproductive health care,” President Biden said in a statement. “This failure to act comes at a time when women’s constitutional rights are under unprecedented attack — and it runs counter to the will of the majority of American people.”
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