Sinema defends filibuster in statement criticizing decision to overturn Roe v Wade
Centrist Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) released a statement Tuesday pledging her support for abortion rights but gave no indication that she would change her opposition to reforming the Senate’s filibuster rule to pass legislation codifying Roe v. Wade.
Sinema, along with fellow centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), voted against an effort by Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and other Democratic colleagues in January to weaken the Senate’s filibuster rule to allow voting rights legislation to pass.
Schumer told colleagues Tuesday morning that he plans to bring legislation to the floor to codify the right to an abortion, which the Supreme Court signaled it may overturn in a draft opinion leaked late Monday.
Sinema implied in her statement the Senate’s filibuster rule is important to protecting the rights of women to make their own health decisions, including the right to an abortion.
“Protections in the Senate safeguarding against the erosion of women’s access to health care have been used half-a-dozen times in the past ten years, and are more important now than ever,” she said.
“Throughout my time in Congress, I’ve always supported women’s access to health care, I’m a cosponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act, and I’ll continue working with anyone to protect women’s ability to make decisions about their futures,” she said.
Sinema voted in February for the Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill to protect a woman’s ability to decide whether to end a pregnancy.
The bill, which the House passed last year, failed in the Senate by a vote of 46-48, with Manchin voting against it.
Sinema, in her statement Tuesday, said “a woman’s health care choices should be between her, her family, and her doctor.”
“Overturning Roe v. Wade endangers the health and wellbeing of women in Arizona and across America,” she said.
She and Manchin voted with all 50 Republicans on Jan. 19 to defeat a narrowly tailored proposal to get rid of the 60-vote threshold for the sake of passing voting rights legislation.
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