The Senate on Wednesday voted against the Women’s Health Protection Act, with 49 lawmakers voting to preserve abortion access across the nation, and 51 telling women they do not have the right to choose what to do with their bodies. The vote fell along party lines, with the exception of centrist Democrat Joe Manchin, who voted with Republicans.
The bill’s failure was expected, and even if Manchin had voted with Democrats it wouldn’t have exceeded the 60-vote threshold necessary to avoid the filibuster. Nevertheless, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer brought the Women’s Health Protection Act to the floor to put lawmakers on record as the Supreme Court appears poised to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“We are making sure that every senator will have to vote and every American will see how they voted,” Schumer said earlier on Wednesday. “I believe the Republican Party — the MAGA Republican Party — will suffer the consequences electorally when the American people see that.”
The vote comes barely a week after the leak of a Supreme Court draft to overturn Roe v. Wade. Democrats have tried to use the potential decision to rally support ahead of the midterms, including by voting to protect reproductive rights. The only way the party can hope to actually pass such legislation and secure abortion access, however, is by eliminating the filibuster. Otherwise, a woman’s right to choose — which has broad bipartisan support across the nation — is at the mercy of a handful of conservative Supreme Court justices.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.