Democrat-led abortion bill fails in the Senate

The bill failed 51-49, with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin siding with Republicans
Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats, Capitol, Washington, D.C., May 3, 2022

Senate Democrats on Wednesday failed to advance the "Women's Health Protection Act" that would enshrine abortion access into federal law.

A Republican filibuster blocked the bill, with 51-49 votes against proceeding with the legislation to make the precedent set in Roe v. Wade into law, The Associated Press reported. Senate Democrats needed 60 votes to move forward.

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin sided with Republicans. He said that, while he supports Roe v. Wade, the "Women's Health Protection Act" is too broad.

Pro-choice Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska introduced their own bill in response to the Democrats' legislation.

Their bill would codify the Supreme Court abortion protections in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

"Unlike some far-left activists, Senator Murkowski and I want the law today to be the law tomorrow," Sen. Collins said in a press release. "That’s why we introduced legislation in February that would enshrine the important Roe and Casey protections into law without undercutting statutes that have been in place for decades and without eliminating basic conscience protections that are relied upon by health care providers who have religious objections to performing abortions."

Murkowski said in another press release, "I also believe in limited government and an individual’s liberty to make choices about their own health. Consistent with Roe and Casey, I support reasonable limits on abortion services related to maternal health."

Democrats took to Twitter to voice their anger over the bill's failure.

Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) posted, "Senate Republicans have now made clear they stand against a women’s ability to make her own decisions."

Republicans celebrated the vote, which came after a leaked draft opinion indicated the Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade.

"Democrats’ abortion-on-demand bill was just defeated in the Senate – again," Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) wrote. "Every Republican senator voted against this law that would remove even the smallest protections for unborn Americans."

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) said, "This legislation would have permitted unborn children to be terminated at any point for any reason. Additionally, this legislation would have eliminated conscience protections for health care providers who object to terminating human life."