The Guardian has reported that after being obstructed by Republicans, legislation that would have written into federal law the right to obtain an abortion was unable to progress in the Senate of the United States on Wednesday.
The vote was mostly symbolic and was cast by Democrats in an effort to rally support from Americans for their position on the issue in advance of a predicted decision by the Supreme Court to overturn the protections guaranteed by Roe v. Wade.
Letitia James, the attorney general of New York, made the announcement that the state will establish a fund to support abortion rights for New Yorkers with low incomes and persons from other states where abortion is illegal.
Every Republican and one conservative Democrat, Joe Manchin of Virginia, voted against the legislation during the roll call vote in the Senate, which was a clear picture of the ideological division over abortion rights. The final score was 49-51, which is much lower than the 60 votes that are required to break a filibuster in the Senate.
After news broke last week that a draft opinion that had been written by Justice Samuel Alito in February and had been confirmed as authentic had been leaked, Democrats moved swiftly to hold the vote that was doomed to fail. The draft opinion indicated that the court’s conservative majority had confidentially voted to strike down Roe and later rulings. The unexpected announcement sparked protests around the country and pushed the topic of reproductive rights to the forefront of the political discussion six months before midterm elections for the United States Congress. The court is likely to issue its verdict sometime during the summer.
Before the vote, a number of Democratic women in the House led a protest march across the Capitol grounds, chanting, “My body, my decision” in opposition to the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade.
Democrats, who are under increasing pressure to take action, saw a political advantage in forcing Republicans to vote against a bill protecting abortion at a time when the threat to access is urgent and polls show that a majority of Americans want the procedure to remain legal in all or some cases. This occurred at a time when Democrats saw a political opportunity in forcing Republicans to vote against a proposal protecting abortion.
They intend to utilize the Republican roadblock as a data point in their messaging to voters during the midterm elections: that the GOP has become a party of “ultra-Maga” radicals, and that they are on the verge of accomplishing a decades-long objective to rob women of their reproductive rights.
It is an issue that the Democrats hope will galvanize young voters who are disgruntled by the administration of Joe Biden and convince suburban women who lean Republican to support them once more in this election cycle.