Senate to Vote Next Week on Abortion Rights Bill
WASHINGTON — The Senate will vote next week on legislation to codify a woman’s right to seek an abortion into federal law in order to circumvent a possible Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has revealed.
Speaking on the floor of the Senate, Schumer called the draft Supreme Court ruling leaked on Tuesday an “abominable decision” and said it poses the greatest threat to the rights and freedoms of every woman in the country “in generations.”
The draft ruling, written by Justice Samuel L. Alito Jr., would overturn Roe in its entirety, and leave it to the individual states to determine the legality of abortion within their borders.
Several Republican-led states have already passed variations of abortion bans that they hoped would trigger a review by the now more conservative Supreme Court and result in the end of its federal guarantee to a woman’s right to an abortion.
“Let’s be clear: This is what the Republicans want. It’s in the laws Republican politicians have passed across the country. But the American people are not on their side,” Schumer said.
Schumer said he will file cloture on the bill next Monday, which would set up a vote for Wednesday.
The Women’s Health Protection Act, which passed in the House last September, would prohibit governmental restrictions on the provision of, and access to, abortion services.
The bill failed in the Senate in March, but Schumer insisted that next week’s vote will not be an “abstract exercise.”
Still it’s hard to see the procedural vote gaining traction as Schumer does not have the necessary 60 votes to overcome a Republican filibuster in the 50-50 Senate.
At the moment he seems satisfied to have members of both parties go on record about where they stand.
“All week we’ve been seeing Republicans try to duck, dodge and dip from their responsibility for bringing Roe to the brink of total repeal. That’s what they’ve been trying to do for decades,” Schumer said.
Since the leak of the draft ruling, which was written in February, Republican lawmakers have focused their anger on the as-yet unknown individual who made it public, calling it a brazen attempt to pressure the justices into changing the ruling.
Urging the justices to stick to their process — something Chief Justice John Roberts has already said that they’ll do — McConnell promised that the GOP senators would “have their backs, no matter what.”
“Next week the American people will see crystal clear that when given the chance to right this wrong, the Republican party will either side with the extremists who want to ban abortion without exceptions, or side with women and with families and with the vast majority of Americans,” Schumer said.
“Next week’s vote will be one of the most important we ever take, because it deals with one of the most personal and difficult decisions a woman ever has to make in her life,” he said, adding, “Next week, America will be watching.”
Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.
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