Senate Republicans block Democratic bill codifying Roe v. Wade abortion protections

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WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked legislation led by Democrats to revive the protections of Roe v. Wade in the wake of the Supreme Court eliminating the nationwide right to abortion.

The vote was 49-44, falling short of the super-majority needed to defeat a filibuster due to broad opposition from Republicans, who dismissed it as a political stunt.

The Reproductive Freedom for Women Act, introduced last month around the second anniversary of the court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, is just a few sentences long. It states that “protections for access to abortion rights and other reproductive health care” after the 2022 ruling “should be supported.” It adds that “the protections enshrined in Roe v. Wade … should be restored and built upon, moving towards a future where there is reproductive freedom for all.”

It’s part of a series of reproductive rights bills that Senate Democrats, who narrowly control the chamber 51-49, have forced votes on ahead of the 2024 elections.

“Will Republicans stand with the majority of Americans, stand with the mainstream, and stand against Donald Trump by affirming a woman’s fundamental right to choose?” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said before the vote.

“Of course, many Republicans would rather sweep reproductive health under the rug, saying it’s political, but this is not political,” he said. “This is the essence of what elected government is like. We all know these issues are deeply personal to so many people. And Americans ought to be able to see how their senators vote.

Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Susan Collins, R-Maine, were the only Republicans to vote in favor of the measure. Schumer switched his vote to “no” in the end for procedural reasons, to preserve his option to bring up the bill again in the future.

Senate Democrats have attempted to put Republicans in a bind between the wishes of their conservative base and the majority of the U.S. — with recent votes on supporting legal access to abortion, contraception and IVF.

“We call this the summer of Schumer shows votes,” said Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., calling the measure symbolic and declaring ahead of the vote that it had “no possibility of ever becoming law” and was crafted as a political messaging vehicle for Democratic candidates.

Read More: Senate Republicans block Democratic bill codifying Roe v. Wade abortion protections

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