Debate on abortion and rights in the US is reactivated. 0:53
(WABNEWS) — The United States Senate will hold a key vote Wednesday on a bill that seeks to preserve abortion access across the country. The vote comes just as the Supreme Court may be poised to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade Act of 1973, which guarantees this right, as early as next month, as revealed in the leaked draft opinion.
The vote is expected to fail amid broad Republican opposition to the bill. As a result, the Senate will not have the necessary support to overcome the threshold of 60 votes which requires the passage of most laws on that camera.RELATED
The failure of the bill to move forward would underscore the Democrats’ broad limitation on what they can accomplish with the narrow majority they hold in the Senate. Just as the party faces enormous pressure to take action on abortion rights amid fears that the Roe v. Wade is annulled soon. However, the vote itself will give Democrats an opportunity to draw attention to the issue and criticize Republican resistance to passing the legislation.
Did you know that abortion was legal in the 19th century in the US? 1:51
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the vote one of the “most important” senators will have, “not just in this session, but in this century.”
“This is not an abstract exercise, this is the most real and urgent thing there is,” Schumer told a news conference on Friday.
The Senate will vote on a version of the Women’s Health Protection Act that Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut supports. The bill would criminalize the right of access to abortion into federal law and guarantee the right of health care providers to perform abortion services. A version of the bill that passed the House of Representatives failed to advance in the Senate earlier this year due to opposition from the Republican Party.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell lashed out at Democrats for forcing a vote this week to legislate on the Roe v. Wade, arguing that it “would attack the conscience rights and religious freedoms of Americans.”
“It would override modest and overwhelmingly popular protections like waiting periods, informed consent laws and possibly even parental notification,” McConnell said of the Democrats’ bill in remarks on the Senate floor Monday.
The bill also threatens to expose divisions among Democrats. Moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who represents the state of West Virginia and has described himself like “pro-life and proud of it”voted with the Republicans in opposition to the bill when it was introduced in the Senate in February.
So far, Manchin has not said how he plans to vote on the Democratic bill. On Tuesday, he indicated that he is still considering his decision. “We have some information. We’re going to sit down and analyze it,” Manchin told reporters on Capitol Hill.
Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, rare Republican supporters of abortion rights, have introduced their own legislation to codify the rights established by Roe v. Wade in federal law.
But both voted against the Law on the Protection of Women’s Health in February. Last week, Collins argued that the Democrats’ move is too broad and raised your concern for not including the so-called conscience clause, which would allow providers to refuse to perform abortions for religious or moral reasons.
Asked at a news conference on Friday why he wouldn’t bring the Collins-Murkowski bill, which could receive bipartisan support, to the floor, Schumer said: “We don’t want to compromise something as vital as this.”
Earlier this week, more than a dozen abortion rights groups wrote a letter strongly opposing the Murkowski-Collins bill, arguing that it “would not protect abortion rights if the Roe case is overturned.” vs. Wade.”
Democrats sounded alarm bells and reacted with outrage in response to a recently leaked Supreme Court draft opinion revealing plans to overturn Roe v. Wade after nearly five decades.
Republicans, despite many opposing abortion rights, have focused their response instead on leaking the Supreme Court opinion, arguing that the act itself poses a significant threat to judicial independence and freedom. from outside interference.
WABNEWS’s Ted Barrett and Manu Raju contributed to this report.