The answer to the question “What does the future of Roe v. Wade look like?” is, unfortunately, not great. As of today’s Senate vote, the bill that would have codified Roe v. Wade did not pass, and Roe v. Wade is still expected to still be overturned later this year.
With a 49-51 count in favor of the opposition, the bill the Senate voted on this afternoon was called the Women’s Health Protection Act. It stated that it would not only prohibit governmental restrictions on access to abortion services at the state level, but it would also codify Roe v. Wade (which is really just a fancy word for saying it would keep it intact).
Congress needed to amass 60 votes in favor of the bill for the Women’s Health Protection Act to pass, but they were unsuccessful. For context, Democrats make up 50 seats in the Senate, but the filibuster rule states that 60 votes are needed to end the debate on a piece of legislation.
Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who is a Democrat, voted no in the chamber, and Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who have both previously claimed to be in support of abortion rights, voted no as well.
Ironically, the outcome came as no major surprise. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer initiated the vote in an effort to make it very clear to the general public who is for and against abortion access.
On Monday, Schumer said, “There’ll be no more hiding. There’ll be no more distracting. No more obfuscating where every member in this chamber stands. Senate Republicans will face a choice. Either vote to protect the rights of women to exercise freedom over their own bodies, or stand with the Supreme Court as 50 years of women’s rights are reduced to rubble before our very eyes.”
“All of us will have to answer for this vote for the rest of our time in public office,” Schumer said earlier this morning. “Before the day is over, every member of this body will make a choice to stand with women to protect their freedoms or stand with MAGA Republicans to take our country into a dark and repressive future.”
If you don’t agree with how your state senator voted, now would be a great time to make sure you’re registered to vote in the upcoming midterms so you can elect a candidate who better aligns with your stance on abortion.