Senator Joe Manchin Was the Only Democrat to Vote Against Bill Legalizing Abortions Up to Birth

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 1, 2022   |   10:56AM   |   Washington, DC

Sen. Joe Manchin stood up against his party again Monday when he joined Republicans in defeating a radical pro-abortion bill that would have forced states to legalize abortions up to birth.

Manchin, of West Virginia, has gained a reputation as a pro-life moderate in the closely divided U.S. Senate, one who votes for the views of his constituents rather than rich lobbying groups and party leaders. On Monday afternoon, he was the only Democrat who voted no on the misleadingly named Women’s Health Protection Act.

Manchin appears to be the only pro-life Democrat left in the Senate after U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr., of Pennsylvania, who also claims to be pro-life, flip-flopped and voted with his party to advance the pro-abortion bill.

When asked about the vote afterward, Manchin spokesperson Sam Runyon told Newsmax that his “position has not changed.” Manchin has a consistent pro-life voting record.

On Monday, the Senate voted 48-46 against cloture — against ending debate and allowing a vote on the pro-abortion bill. As a result, Republicans’ filibuster against the radical pro-abortion legislation was sustained and the bill was defeated; 60 votes were necessary to move ahead to a vote on the bill.

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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. But pro-life advocates, who nicknamed it the Abortion Without Limits Up to Birth Act, said it would go beyond Roe and get rid of laws that protect unborn babies from late-term and partial-birth abortions.

Bans on sex-selection abortions and taxpayer-funded abortions also would have been gone if the bill had passed. Laws that protect women and girls would have been eliminated, too, including parental consent for minors and informed consent laws that ensure mothers receive facts about abortion risks and their unborn baby’s development before going through with an abortion.

News outlets including Newsweek and RawStory quickly slammed Manchin for voting with the American people instead of the pro-abortion lobby, running headlines that described his vote as “shameful” and claimed “Joe Manchin might have helped kill Roe v. Wade.”

Georgeanne Usova, senior legislative counsel at the ACLU, also criticized lawmakers who voted against the bill, asserting that abortion is both a “right” and “essential” health care.

“We need our elected officials to address this crisis—and those who supported this critical bill today voted to defend every person’s right to make decisions about their lives and futures,” Usova said in a statement. “Unfortunately, those who blocked its passage are allowing that fundamental right to be dismantled.”

The legislation, which passed the House last year, would overturn all federal and state pro-life laws and prohibit elected officials from even introducing pro-life legislation.

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

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.

All Senate Republicans voted 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.