Senate Democrats fell far short in their attempt to pass the “Women’s Health Prevention” Act on Wednesday. The bill, which needed 60 votes to pass, garnered 49 votes in favor and 51 against. Joe Manchin (D-WV) was the lone Senate Democrat to vote against the abortion bill, though he added he would support legislation that barred only late term procedures. Wednesday’s failed bill would legalize abortion up to nine months.
The House has already passed the “Women’s Health Protection Act”, but it has been unable to overcome the Senate filibuster. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) describe themselves as “pro-choice” and have said they will vote for a Senate bill that banned late term abortions.
“I plan to continue working with my colleagues on legislation to maintain – not expand or restrict – the current legal framework for abortion rights in this country,” Collins said in a statement.
Senator Manchin said he would support codifying Roe v. Wade, but finds the House-passed bill to be too extreme. “The bill we have to day to vote on, the Women’s Health Protection Act, … it is not Roe v. Wade codification, it’s an expansion,” Manchin said. The West Virginia Senator went on to express his “disappointment” in the Supreme Court’s potential decision.
The failed bill would legalize abortions until birth, even if the pregnancy does not threaten the life of the mother. It would also nullify the vast majority of pro-life laws passed by individual states.
In a statement Wednesday, President Biden said that Republicans “have chosen to stand in the way of Americans’ rights to make the most personal decisions about their own bodies, families and lives.” The president then urged Democrats to vote for pro-abortion candidates in the upcoming midterm elections.
A recent Rasmussen Reports survey found that 48% of voters want to see Roe v. Wade overturned, a majority.