The Senate’s Message on Abortion: We Won’t Do Anything to Save It

 1 year ago
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The Senate’s Message on Abortion: We Won’t Do Anything to Save It

Abortion rights need congressional protection. The Senate just told those in fear of forced births to fend for themselves.


Photo by Chad Stembridge on Unsplash

Chuck Schumer made clear that with Wednesday’s vote on The Women’s Health Protection Act, which would create federal protections for providing and accessing abortion services, he wanted to send a message.

“Tens of millions of women are watching what will happen to the rights they’ve relied on for decades, and all of us will have to answer for this vote for the rest of our time in public office,” the Senate Majority leader said ahead of the vote.

“Before the day is over, every member of this body will make a choice: stand with women to protect their freedoms, or stand with MAGA Republicans and take our country into a dark and repressive future,” he added.

After a leaked draft opinion showing that a majority of Supreme Court justices voted to overturn Roe was published in February, some looked to Congress to codify Roe v. Wade and guarantee abortion protection for women nationwide.

Unfortunately, while the House of Representatives successfully passed the bill, the vote in the Senate failed in spite of Schumer’s warning, 51–49. Worse, it failed with one of Democrats’ own members, Sen. Joe Manchin, joining Republicans in their successful effort to tank the legislation. Before his vote, Manchin said, “They’re trying to make people believe that this is the same thing as codifying Roe v. Wade. And I want you to know, it’s not. This is not the same. It expands abortion.”

Unsurprisingly, that mirrors a criticism from pro-choice Republican Senator Susan Collins, who argued the bill “goes far beyond what is necessary to codify the abortion rights in Roe and Casey.” Collins has introduced an alternative bill, the Reproductive Choice Act, along with another pro-choice Republican Senator, Lisa Murkowski. Murkowski blamed Democrats for essentially wasting people’s time.

“Instead of taking yet another failed vote on a wholly partisan measure, I urge Democrats and Republicans alike to recognize that what Senator Collins and I have offered is in line with the views of a strong majority of Americans — who support a woman’s right to choose but believe that legal abortion should include reasonable limitations,” she said via statement.

All of these people claim to be for women to have the legal right to have autonomy over their own bodies yet voted no. The Republicans are not going to vote for their bill either. They should join Senator Bernie Sanders’ call to nix the filibuster to codify abortion protections. That is if they really wanted to use the Senate to give women protection.

Meanwhile, Democratic Senator Bob Casey, who has described himself as pro-life, voted for the bill, citing “serious concerns about what overturning almost 50 years of legal precedent will mean for women in states passing near or total bans on abortion.”

Casey’s familial history to abortion is historic: his father, a former governor, is the Casey in the 1992 case Casey vs. Planned Parenthood, which sought to have Roe v. Wade struck down. Casey lost, but the case has long been cited as paving the way for abortion restrictions. If someone like that can vote for the legislation, it speaks to who genuinely cares about all women in this country as opposed to solely the rich white women they know can afford to get an abortion no matter what the Supreme Court says.

At least some of them can admit their biases.

Like Republican Senator Ron Johnson, who told the Wall Street Journal that he doesn’t expect abortion to be a campaign issue given “It might be a little messy for some people, but abortion is not going away.”

And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who when asked by USA Today whether a national ban “is something worthy of a debate,” admitted he might try once he reclaims power.

“If the leaked opinion became the final opinion, legislative bodies — not only at the state level but at the federal level — certainly could legislate in that area,” McConnell said. “And if this were the final decision, that was the point that it should be resolved one way or another in the legislative process. So yeah, it’s possible.”

This is the world they want where dumb and cruel men like them have total control over women.

Speaking of stupid politicians that don’t deserve to be in control of their own thoughts much less other people’s bodies, the day before the GOP and BFF Joe Manchin sunk abortion legislation, Montana Senator Steve Daines compared women to sea turtles.

On the floor, Daines argued: “If you were to take or destroy the eggs of a sea turtle — now I said the eggs, not the hatchlings — that’s also a penalty but the eggs — the criminal penalties are severe: up to a $100,000 fine and a year in prison. Now why? Why do we have laws in place that protect the eggs of a sea turtle or the eggs of eagles? Because, when you destroy an egg, you’re killing a preborn baby sea turtle or preborn baby eagle. Yet when it comes to a preborn human baby, rather than a sea turtle, that baby will be stripped of all protections in all 50 states, under the Democrats’ bill that we’ll be voting on tomorrow. Is that what the America the left wants?”

I will never get over how people this stupid are able to wield power and influence over our lives.

I recognize that Wednesday’s vote was largely symbolic, but Schumer as himself explained, it was nonetheless “one of the most consequential we’ve taken in decades.”

The message he wanted to send with this vote is more than evident. These people have more urgency behind the protests in front of the homes of several justices than the cause that drives them. All is not lost, but it is frustrating to see what a lost cause the United States Senate is.

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