The bill’s failure should underscore how severely limited Democrats are in what they can accomplish with their slim Senate majority, even as the party faces enormous pressure to act on abortion rights. , fearing that Roe v. Wade will soon be canceled. But holding the vote will give Democrats a chance to shine a light on the problem and criticize Republican resistance to the legislation’s passage.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the vote of one of the “most important” senators, “not just this session, but in this century.”
“This is not an abstract exercise, it’s as real and as urgent as possible,” Schumer said at a press conference on Friday.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted Democrats for forcing a vote this week codifying the Roe v. Wade decision, arguing that “it would attack Americans’ conscience rights and religious freedoms.”
“It would overturn modest and hugely popular safeguards like waiting times, informed consent laws and possibly even parental notification,” McConnell said of the Democrats’ bill in remarks to the Senate on Monday.
So far, Manchin has not said how he plans to vote on the Democratic bill when it comes to a vote this week. On Tuesday, he said he was still considering how to vote. “We have information. We’ll have a lawyer sit down,” Manchin told reporters on Capitol Hill.
Asked at a press conference on Friday why he wouldn’t introduce the Collins and Murkowski bill instead, which may receive bipartisan support, Schumer said: “We’re not looking to jeopardize anything. ‘as vital as this one.’
Earlier this week, more than a dozen abortion rights groups wrote a letter strongly opposing Murkowski and Collins’ bill, saying it “would not protect the right to abortion if Roe v. Wade were overturned”.
Democrats have sounded the alarm and reacted with outrage in response to a recently leaked Supreme Court draft opinion revealing plans to overturn Roe v. Wade after about five decades.
Republicans, despite much opposition to abortion rights, have instead focused their response on the explosive leak of the Supreme Court opinion, arguing that the leak itself poses a significant threat to judicial independence and the freedom from outside interference.
CNN’s Ted Barrett and Manu Raju contributed.