Senate Republicans, with the help of Democrat Senator Joe Manchin, voted to defeat a Democrat bill that would overturn every pro-life law in America and legalize abortions up to birth.
Lawmakers voted 48-46 against cloture — against ending debate and allowing a vote on the the misnamed Women’s Health Protection Act. As a result the filibuster against the radical pro-abortion legislation was sustained and the bill is defeated, as 60 votes were necessary to move ahead to a vote on the bill.
All Republicans voted pro-life against cloture on the radical pro-abortion bill and all Democrats voted pro-abortion for cloture, except for Manchin. Democrats Feinstein, Lujan and Warnock missed the vote but would have voted pro-abortion while Republicans Inhofe, Kennedy and Paul also missed vote but would have voted pro-life.
Democrat leaders and many mainstream news outlets portray the bill as an effort to simply “codify the right to an abortion” in the U.S. in response to the likelihood that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade later this year. The bill would:
- Eliminate all state and federal parental consent laws in relation to abortion
- Eliminate all state informed consent laws, including those that allow women to view an ultrasound prior to abortion
- Prevent states from passing laws to protect babies at 20 weeks, thereby joining countries like North Korea, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Canada, and the Netherlands in not protecting unborn children later in development
- Force doctors and nurses opposed to abortion to lose their jobs, and Catholic hospitals could lose public funds unless they perform abortions
- Eliminate decades-long limitations on direct taxpayer funding of abortion – including the popular Hyde Amendment, which has saved more than 2 million lives since enacted
In short, the legislation would overturn all federal and state pro-life laws and make it illegal for elected officials to even introduce pro-life legislation.
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Bans on partial-birth abortions, sex-selection abortions and taxpayer-funded abortions would be gone if the bill passes. Laws that protect women and girls would be eliminated, too, including parental consent for minors and informed consent laws that ensure mothers receive basic facts about their unborn baby’s development before going through with an abortion.
During the debate, Republicans slammed Democrats for bringing up a bill to to kill babies while ignoring how Russia is killing civilians in Ukraine.
Senator Roger Marshall of Kansas said, “At a time when Vladimir Putin is murdering Ukrainians, my Democrat colleagues want to murder more unborn Americans.”
Senator Ben Sasse, an outspoken pro-life advocate, said the bill proves Democrats aren’t reasonable on abortion.
“Tonight, the hard-left formally kicked the old slogan of ‘safe, legal, and rare’ to the curb and embraced extreme pro-abortion politics. This legislation will make Planned Parenthood’s army of lobbyists happy, but it’s going to alienate a lot of Americans. This pro-abortion extremism is completely out-of-touch with mainstream America. While Planned Parenthood, President Biden, and Speaker Pelosi embrace fringe pro-abortion politics, pro-lifers are offering a compassionate pro-baby, pro-woman, pro-science message,” he said.
The bill passed the House last year, but Democrats don’t have the votes to get past the filibuster in the Senate.
“Today the U.S. Senate gave the nation yet another lesson in just how much elections matter,” said Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life told LifeNews after the vote.
“The evenly divided Senate today voted against advancing a radical abortion bill that would eliminate every protection for the unborn, their mothers and healthcare workers,” Father Pavone said. “If we had a Senate with a solid Democrat majority, we might be looking at a totally changed landscape today where abortion is concerned.”
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Denise Burke said the bill is grossly misnamed:
“Despite contending to be about women’s health, the so-called ‘Women’s Health Protection Act’ would have endangered women and unborn babies by prohibiting most—if not all—of the reasonable state regulations on abortion currently in place. This legislation was just the latest example of the extreme lengths to which congressional Democrats will go to cater to abortionists. Every innocent human life is valuable, precious, and worthy of protection. We commend the members of the Senate who took a stand for true women’s healthcare and the protection of innocent life by voting against this destructive legislation.”
Pro-life leaders say the bill would go beyond even Roe by nullifying state laws that protect unborn babies from late-term and partial-birth abortions.
“This radical ‘Abortion Until Birth Act’ would block popular pro-life laws around the country, including limits on late-term abortions when unborn babies feel pain, and effectively enshrine an unlimited abortion ‘right’ in federal law,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “Pro-abortion Democrats are desperate to stop the pro-life momentum demonstrated by pro-life laws advancing in state legislatures nationwide.”
Two Senate Democrats, Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, and Bob Casey Jr., of Pennsylvania, identify as pro-life, but it appears that Casey, who recently was seen at a pro-abortion group’s fundraiser, has caved to party pressure.
“Given the recent Supreme Court rulings, potential rulings this year, and the Republican Party’s clear and unrelenting use of this issue as a political weapon, I will vote ‘yes’ to allow debate on this bill,” Casey said in a statement.
Dannenfelser slammed Casey’s flip-flop as a “disgrace,” noting that his father, the late Gov. Bob Casey Sr., was a champion for unborn babies.
“Senator Casey’s flip to supporting abortion on demand is a disgrace to the legacy of his hero father. Like that of Joe Biden, it exposes how the Democratic Party has caved to pro-abortion extremism,” Dannenfelser said. “Now with millions of lives at stake in the Dobbs case, he stands with Chuck Schumer and the abortion lobby to advance the ‘Abortion Until Birth Act’ …”
Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life of America, also called out the Pennsylvania senator on Twitter.
Even among many Democrat voters, the bill is too extreme. Polls consistently show that a strong majority of Americans oppose late-term abortions and taxpayer-funded abortions. A 2022 Marist poll found that just 36 percent of Americans believe abortions should be legal without any restrictions. Additionally, 73 percent oppose using tax dollars to fund abortions.
Similarly, a 2021 Associated Press poll found that 65 percent believe second-trimester abortions should be illegal and 80 percent believe they should be illegal in the third trimester.
And a Gallup poll last year found a majority of Americans want all or most abortions made illegal.