The Senate will hold a major vote on a bill to preserve the right to abortion with Roe v. Wade in jeopardy.


The bill’s failure to advance is set to underscore how tightly Democrats are in what they can achieve with a narrow majority in the Senate even as the party faces enormous pressure to take action on abortion rights amid fears Roe v. Wade will soon be toppled. But holding the vote would give Democrats an opportunity to highlight the issue and criticize Republicans’ resistance to passing the legislation.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the vote one of the “most important” senators, “not just in this session, but in this century.”

“This is not an abstract exercise, it is as real and urgent as it is,” Schumer said at a news conference Friday.

The Senate will vote to advance a version of the Women’s Health Protection Act sponsored by Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. The bill would codify the right to access abortion into federal law and guarantee the right of health care providers to perform abortion services. A copy approved by the House of Representatives for the bill failed to advance in the Senate earlier this year amid opposition from the Republican Party.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has criticized Democrats for forcing a vote this week to legalize Roe v. Wade, arguing that it would “attack the conscience rights and religious liberties of Americans.”

“It would overwhelmingly overturn modest and popular safeguards such as waiting periods, informed consent laws, and possibly even parental notification,” McConnell said of the Democrats’ bill in remarks in the Senate on Monday.

The introduction of the legislation also threatens to highlight divisions among Democrats. Moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who represents the red state of West Virginia and has previously described himself As a “pro-life and proud of it”, Vote with the Republicans Opposition to the bill When he came before the Senate in February.

So far, Manchin hasn’t said how he plans to vote on the Democrats’ bill when it comes to a vote this week. On Tuesday, he indicated he was still thinking about how to vote. “We’ve got some information. We’re going to have a lawyer sitting down,” Manchin told reporters at the Capitol.

Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, two rare Republican abortion rights advocates Introduced its own legislation To codify the rights established by Roe in federal law.
but Monday voted against Women’s Health Protection Act February. Collins last week argued the measure put forward by Democrats Too broad and worrisome Regarding not including a so-called conscience clause, which would allow providers to refuse to perform abortions on religious or moral grounds.

Asked at a news conference Friday why he would instead refuse to bring the Collins and Murkowski bill to the floor, which could have bipartisan support, Schumer said, “We’re not looking to compromise on something as vital as this.”

Earlier this week, more than a dozen abortion rights groups wrote a letter staunchly opposed to the Murkowski and Collins bill, saying it “would not protect the right to abortion if Roe v. Wade was overturned.”

Democrats sounded the alarm and responded with anger in response to a recently leaked draft Supreme Court opinion revealing plans to drop Roe v. Wade after nearly five decades.

Republicans, despite many opponents of abortion rights, instead focused their response on the sudden leak of the Supreme Court’s opinion, arguing that the leak itself posed a major threat to judicial independence and freedom from outside interference.

CNN’s Ted Barrett and Manu Raju contributed.

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