Senate Republicans Block Bill Calling for Restoration of Roe v. Wade

Democrats are spotlighting abortion in the lead-up to the 2024 election.

Senate Republicans on July 10 blocked a bill put forward by Democrats expressing support that Roe v. Wade should be restored as the law of the land.

The two-page bill did not aim to change any laws but to establish a “sense of Congress” to support protections for abortion access, and restoring Roe v. Wade, which had established a national right to abortion before the Supreme Court sent the issue back to states two years ago.

“Senate Republicans must answer a very simple question: Do they believe that women should be trusted to make their own health care choices—yes or no?” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said during his floor remarks hours before the vote.

While Mr. Schumer noted that the vote would not be the end of the abortion debate, he said getting members on record was “an important step forward.”

Ultimately, the measure was blocked in a 49–44 procedural vote.

In recent months, Democrats have highlighted reproductive issues ahead of the November elections.

To mark the anniversary of the June 2022 Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in which the court overturned Roe v. Wade, Senate Democrats put forward several measures on reproductive issues, including abortion, contraception, and in vitro fertilization.

Those bills were also shot down by Republicans, who accused Democrats of political posturing.

Commenting on the latest measure on June 18, Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) called it a “messaging bill,” while Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) criticized it as an attempt to “impose a one-size-fits-all policy on the whole nation.”

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), often an ally for Democrats on social issues, was one of just two Republicans—the other being Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)—to support the latest measure. Asked about her thoughts ahead of the vote, Ms. Collins told The Epoch Times that she felt the similarly titled Reproductive Freedom for All Act, which she co-sponsored, was “a far better bill.”

Rather than call for the codification of Roe, that measure would take things a step further by restoring the 1973 ruling’s protections for abortion until fetal viability and in cases where the pregnancy poses a risk to the mother’s health. The bill would also prevent states from imposing an “undue burden” on a woman’s ability to obtain an abortion and establish a right to obtain and use contraception.

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), along with Ms. Murkowski, have also backed the bill.

“Congress must restore women’s rights to make personal health care decisions,” Mr. Kaine said in a Feb. 9 statement. “In the wake of the Dobbs decision, we have seen just how necessary Roe v. Wade was, which is why I’ve worked with my colleagues to find common ground on this bipartisan compromise that would restore Roe’s protections.”

While Democrats have made abortion a key campaign issue, Republicans have tended to shy more away from the issue. The GOP’s 2024 party platform, released earlier this week, mentions the term just once to affirm its opposition to “late term abortion.” The party also declared its support for states deciding the issue themselves—mirroring former President Donald Trump’s position on the issue.

Lawrence Wilson and Stacy Robinson contributed to this report.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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