WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Senate is soon expected to take a key vote on a bill to give federal protection for access to abortion and to codify Roe v. Wade.
The vote on the “Women’s Health Protection Act of 2022″ is in response to the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion showing the Justices could soon overturn Roe v. Wade.
Democrats do not have the support needed for the bill to pass but are moving ahead anyway in what will largely be a symbolic move.
“Today’s vote is one of the most consequential we will take in decades because for the first time in 50 years, a conservative majority, an extreme majority on the Supreme Court is on the brink of declaring that women do not have freedom over their own bodies,” said Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on the Senate floor ahead of the vote Wednesday.
According to the legislation, the bill would also ban governments from requiring a patient “to make one or more medically unnecessary in-person visits to the provider of abortion services” and it would ban the “requirement that a patient seeking abortion services at any point or points in time prior to fetal viability disclose the patient’s reason or reasons for seeking abortion services.”
Furious Democrats were passionate on the Senate floor about supporting the measure.
“It will codify Roe v. Wade to ensure that women make those decisions. Not the Minority Leader. Not Justice Alito. Not some politician some place, but women and that’s who should make those decisions,” said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). “We must preserve a woman’s fundamental right to make our own decisions about our own bodies, about our futures, and about our health.”
Republicans, meanwhile, slammed the proposal and called it more extreme than Roe v. Wade.
“Democrats’ radical bill is as extreme as extreme gets,” said Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). “It ignores modern science. It is tone deaf to public opinion.”
The GOP argues the measure goes too far because it doesn’t put limitations on when a woman can get an abortion.
“It would sweep away almost every common sense restriction that has been upheld since Roe,” said Sen. John Thune (R-SD). “Parental notification. Informed consent. Waiting periods.”
McConnell recently said it’s possible that Republicans could push legislation for a nationwide ban on abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned this summer but so far, no such measure has been introduced.
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