In a 51-49 vote, a bipartisan Senate majority rejected Democrats’ bid to pass the most extreme abortion bill in history on Wednesday that would have effectively legalized killing unborn babies up until birth and prohibited pro-life states from restricting abortions until after 23 weeks gestation.
Democrats tried to pass the legislation after a leaked draft of the Dobbs v. Jackson opinion signaled the United States Supreme Court’s intent to overturn Roe v. Wade. The bill’s intent was to hamper Republican states from passing pro-life laws such as those that restrict the killing of preborn babies, mandate waiting periods, and require ultrasounds.
Senate Republicans joined by Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin, however, voted down the legislation due to its sweeping provisions which would have ensured unlimited abortion on demand, eliminated parental notification laws for minors, nuked conscience protections for health-care workers, and more.
Despite widespread support for restrictions on killing babies in the womb, the Democrats’ bill would have allowed an abortion at any point in gestation for nearly any reason including if a doctor believes the baby in utero is “a risk to the pregnant patient’s life or health,” which presumably includes “emotional health” and the variety of social or economic preferences that could fall under such a broad umbrella.
While the Democrat-controlled Senate failed to get a simple majority to pass the bill, Democrats including President Joe Biden tried to pin the blame for the legislation’s defeat on Republicans.
“Once again – as fundamental rights are at risk at the Supreme Court – Senate Republicans have blocked passage of the Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill that affirmatively protects access to reproductive health care,” Biden said.
“I’m appalled by Senate GOP’s vote to block the Women’s Health Protection Act. They are putting millions of women at risk. And their failure to act makes it easier for a partisan court to turn back the clock on reproductive rights. We won’t give up the fight for choice. Ever,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff tweeted.
Corporate media outlets such as MSNBC made multiple false assertions about the vote, claiming it was a “GOP filibuster” that “derails bill to codify Roe v. Wade protections.”
The Associated Press’s Zeke Miller similarly pushed both of these falsehoods, claiming it was a GOP-led filibuster (rather than a bipartisan majority) that killed the act, and falsely tweeting that the Democrat bill would have written Roe v. Wade into law. In reality, the bill would have ensconced a far more radical position on abortion into federal law than the standard the Supreme Court handed down in its 1973 case.