Democrats to force vote on codifying Roe v. Wade. next week

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Democrats to force vote on codifying Roe v. Wade. next week

Senate Democrats are seeking to force a vote to codify Roe v. Wade into federal law next week in the wake of the bombshell leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion striking down the landmark abortion decision.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced Thursday that he will file cloture on the legislation on Monday, teeing up a vote for Wednesday. 

“Today, I am announcing that next week, the US Senate is going to vote on legislation to codify a woman’s right to seek an abortion into federal law,” he said in a speech on the Senate floor. 

However, the bill is expected to fail, as Democrats currently do not have the 60 votes it needs to advance the legislation to an official vote on the floor. 

Next week’s vote will be the second that Schumer has forced on the issue – after a motion to proceed a vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act was defeated 46-48 in February. 

Moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) joined Republicans in voting against the bill – which narrowly passed 218-211 in the Democratic-control House in the fall. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has pushed on the issue twice – last time it defeated 46-48 in February.
CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
Harvard University freshmen
Harvard University freshmen chant “not your body, not your choice” while rallying in Harvard Yard on May 4, 2022.
Boston Globe via Getty Images

The legislation has reportedly been changed since then to address Democratic concerns, according to The Hill. However, it is unclear if those changes will shift any votes as Manchin had not seen the changes as of early Thursday. 

The vote will come just one week after the draft Supreme Court opinion was leaked, angering many Democrats over the decision – and many Republicans over the security breach. 

Democrats and abortion activists swiftly renewed their calls to enshrine abortion into law. President Biden even urged Congress to take action. 

Abortion-rights advocates
Abortion-rights advocates are protesting around the country, with tensions continuing to rise.
Getty Images/Sarah Silbiger

“At the federal level, we will need more pro-choice Senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to adopt legislation that codifies Roe, which I will work to pass and sign into law,” he said in a Tuesday statement. 

Schumer blasted the GOP on Thursday, saying they have tried to “duck, dodge and dip from their responsibility for bringing Roe to the brink of total repeal.” 

“Next week the American people will see crystal clear that when given the chance to right this wrong, the Republican Party will either side with the extremists who want to ban abortion without exceptions or side with women, with families and with the vast majority of Americans,” the majority leader said. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer
The bill is expected to fail, since Democrats do not have enough votes for it to advance.
CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Other Democrats, namely Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), have suggested eliminating the filibuster in order to push the codifying effort. 

However, that legislative path would also likely fail, as setting aside the filibuster requires full party support and two key Democrats – Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) – have voted against doing so, including on voting rights legislation.

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