Senate Democrats Line Up Vote on Abortion, Republicans Likely to Reject It

Two years after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Senate Democrats are again bringing abortion to the forefront.

With the nation set to mark the anniversary of the Court’s decision on June 24, the Senate is preparing to vote on a bill that calls for the codification of Roe after the chamber returns from recess in July.

“Twice we have tried to pass legislation restoring Roe, and twice, Republicans refused. So, yesterday, we introduced a bill that simply says women should be free to make their own health care decisions,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), one of the bill’s co-sponsors, said at a June 18 press conference.

“It couldn’t be more basic. I mean, if you care at all, even a little, about letting women make decisions about their own pregnancies that are right for them and their families, then you should support this bill.”

Republicans will almost certainly block the bill.

The brief, two-page bill establishes that it is “the sense of Congress” that “the protections enshrined in Roe v. Wade should be restored and built upon, moving towards a future where there is reproductive freedom for all.”

Roe, which was decided in 1973, prohibited states from banning abortion prior to fetal viability, or the point where a baby is deemed capable of surviving outside of the womb.

At the time, that point was generally accepted to occur at around 28 weeks of pregnancy, or the start of the third trimester.

Today, viability is more commonly accepted to occur between 22 and 24 weeks.

A lack of Republican support has thwarted Democrats’ previous efforts to reinstate Roe.

Their latest bill, dubbed the Reproductive Freedom for Women Act, would not codify Roe but merely expresses support for the idea, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told The Epoch Times.

“The Republicans have already blocked us on passing Roe. So, we’re taking another cut at it to take out some of the details and just say, ‘Can we all agree that we want Roe v. Wade to be the law of the land?’” Ms. Warren said.

The bill is the latest in a series of legislation Senate Democrats have put forward this month highlighting reproductive issues.

Other bills they introduced included the Right to Contraception Act and the Right to IVF Act, both of which were blocked by the GOP.

Senate Republicans have criticized their Democratic colleagues for holding so-called show votes on legislation that has no chance of passing in order to motivate voters ahead of the November elections.

“It’s a messaging bill. They can’t run on inflation, and they can’t run on crime, and they can’t run on immigration,”  Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Ark.) said he would not support a law that would override his state’s ban on abortion and “impose a one-size-fits-all policy on the whole nation.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) pushed back on those critiques on the Senate floor on June 20, saying the vote would not be a “show vote” but a “show-us-who-you-are vote.”

“The American people certainly want to know who their elected representatives truly are, and are entitled to know where they stand on choice,” he said.

Earlier this week, Mr. Schumer took the initial steps toward placing the bill on the legislative calendar.

A vote has not yet been scheduled but is likely to come in July after members return from the Independence Day break.


Leave a Reply