Manchin joins with Senate GOP to block bill guaranteeing abortion access

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) joined with Senate Republicans on Monday night to oppose legislation codifying the right to an abortion. 

Senators voted 46-48 to move the bill toward a debate on the Senate floor, falling short of the three-fifths vote needed to move it forward. 

The bill, which passed the House last year, enshrines the right to an abortion and pushes back against state-level restrictions. The Senate’s failed vote comes as the Supreme Court is weighing a case that would curb Roe vs. Wade.

“Sadly it looks like the Supreme Court will limit abortion rights on the coming months. That’s why the bill is essential,” Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said.

But the bill was guaranteed to fail because it needed 60 votes to move forward.

Manchin and Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) weren’t formal co-sponsors of the bill, but Casey had previously said he would vote to start debate on the bill. 

Asked about Manchin’s “no” vote, Sam Runyon, a spokesperson for Manchin, said, “Senator Manchin’s position has not changed.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) accused Democrats of trying to support a “radical” policy to appease their base.

“Yet again our colleagues wish to demonstrate that the radical left fringe runs today’s Democratic Party,” McConnell said. 

GOP Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) voted against advancing the Democratic bill but introduced a proposal shortly before the vote to codify Roe vs. Wade.

“I have long supported a woman’s right to choose, but my position is not without limits, and this partisan Women’s Health Protection Act simply goes too far. It would broadly supersede state laws and infringe on Americans’ religious freedoms,” Murkowski said.

“The fact that my choice is between this bill, or nothing at all, shows how insincere Majority Leader Schumer is about protecting women’s rights. Failing to conduct any outreach and reducing this important issue to nothing more than a designed-to-fail show vote is a disservice to women across America,” she added. 

Tags abortion rights Bob Casey Chuck Schumer Joe Manchin Lisa Murkowski Mitch McConnell Roe v. Wade Susan Collins Women’s Health Protection Act

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