Manchin will again oppose Democrats' abortion rights bill

The West Virginia moderate says the bill, in its current form, is too broad.

Updated: May 11, 2022 - 2:21pm

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said Wednesday he will not vote with fellow Democrats on their measure to codify women's access to abortion across the country.

Manchin's failure to support the bill means it will fall short of receiving full support from all 50 Senate Democrats and the required 60 votes, with all 50 Republicans not expected to vote in support of passage.

"We're going to be voting for a piece of legislation that I will not be voting for today," Manchin, a moderate in a conservative state, said before a scheduled vote Wednesday afternoon. 

He said he would vote for codifying the 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade that give women the constitutional right to have access to an abortion, following the recent leak of a draft opinion that indicates the court's conservative majority will soon overturn the landmark ruling, "but I found out yesterday in caucus that that wasn't going to be."

Manchin explained that he considers the bill in its current form is too broad.

He also voted against a version of the bill brought to the floor earlier this year.

Democrats have made some changes to the original bill, including removing a non-binding findings section that called abortion restrictions "a tool of gender oppression" and a form of "white supremacy."

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is forcing the vote to try to put all 100 members of the chamber on the record for their position on the issue, in a big election season.

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