Senate to vote Wednesday on codifying Roe v. Wade, Democrat-led measure not expected to pass

Measure would need 60 votes, with Senate Democrat leader Schumer unsure whether he even has 50 votes from his conference

Updated: May 11, 2022 - 9:14am

The Senate will vote Wednesday on a measure to continue to ensure women across the country have access to having an abortion – amid expectations the Supreme Court will rule on a case that will overturn the court's landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that makes such access a constitutional right. 

The preliminary vote is expect to fall well short of the chamber's 60-vote threshold to move the measure forward, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer unsure whether he even has the support from all 50 Democrats in the 100-member chamber. 

Schumer, who failed to pass a version of this legislation earlier this year, called the vote one of the most critical that senators will take, "not only this session, but in this century."

"This is not an abstract exercise, it's as real and as urgent as it gets," the New York Democrat said last week.

Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate representing conservative-leaning West Virginia, voted against the previous measure.

A draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito leaked last week shows the high court's conservative majority is expected to make a ruling next month on as Mississippi abortion case that would effectively overturn Roe v. Wade. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday slammed his Democratic colleagues for forcing a vote destined for failure on the matter. 

Codifying Roe v. Wade with the proposed legislation would "overturn modest and overwhelmingly popular safeguards like waiting periods, informed consent laws and possibly even parental notification," the Kentucky Republican said.

Since the leaked draft became public, activist groups have staged protests across the country, in front of churches and in front of the homes of some Supreme Court justices.