Democrats have increased pressure on senators to publicly affirm their positions on abortion, but those efforts appear to have had little impact on West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who has cautiously walked the line in his dyed-through state.
On Wednesday afternoon, the moderate Democrat, along with his fellow GOP members, voted against a bill that would codify abortion rights under federal law. Democrats had called for the vote in response to the leak of a draft opinion signaling the Conservative majority on the Supreme Court will be overthrown Roe v. Calf.
The final vote was 51-49 against Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal’s bill that would have created federal law guaranteeing the right of health care providers to have an abortion and the right of patients to have an abortion.
It was expected that legislation would not get the 60 votes needed to clear the Senate’s filibuster rule. But Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer saw the vote as an opportunity to put Republicans on the record on abortion rights.
However, Schumer’s plan to put senators in their place politically could backfire on Manchin. The Democrat is trying to hold onto his support from West Virginia GOP voters and can quote his vote when he faces re-election in 2024.
“The American people are watching. The public will not forget which side of the vote the senators fall on today,” Schumer said from the Senate floor. “They will not forget who voted to protect their liberties, and they will not forget those responsible for the greatest backsliding of individual liberties in half a century.”
Following the Supreme Court leak, a number of Democratic and Republican senators expressed support for maintaining it roethe landmark decision that legalized abortion nationwide in 1973.
Manchin, who joined all 50 GOP senators on Wednesday, broke with his party and voted against the legislation despite his public support for access to abortion.
Earlier in the day, Manchin said CNN’s Manu Raju that while supporting the codification of roeBlumenthal’s Women’s Health Protection Act was too broad.
“I had hopes that the Democratic Party, which controls the agenda, would introduce legislation that would codify Roe v. calf…. To me, that would be the sensible, sensible thing to do,” Manchin told Raju. “The bill we have to vote on today, the Women’s Health Protection Act … it is not Roe v. calf Codification, it’s an extension.”
When asked what his vote will say about his party, the senator said: “I don’t fit the mold, let’s put it that way, and I understand that. I’m just who I am.”
Meanwhile, other Democrats have said they stand ready to take up the abortion rights issue if the Senate bill fails and use it to boost turnout in November’s midterm elections.
“If we don’t succeed, we go to the ballot box,” Senator Amy Klobuchar told ABC In this week this past Sunday. “We are marching straight to the ballot box, and the women of this country and the men behind them will vote as they have never voted before.”
Ahead of Wednesday’s Senate vote, President Joe Biden urged senators to pass the bill. “The urgency to protect women’s health, their fundamental right to control their reproductive choices and the freedom of all people to build their own future has never been greater,” the White House said in a statement.
“It is evident that the constitutional rights that have been protected for almost 50 years are now at serious risk,” the statement continued. “It is imperative that Congress enact legal protections for women’s access to essential health services and reproductive choices, regardless of where they live.”
Judge Samuel Alito’s leaked draft opinion, while not a final decision, presented the anti-roe Attitude of the 6-3 Conservative majority of the Supreme Court. Democrats have warned that these judges are preparing to make access to abortion a matter of state law.
https://www.newsweek.com/putting-joe-manchin-record-over-abortion-wont-hurt-him-voters-1704786 Putting Joe Manchin on the abortion record won’t hurt him with voters