A bill stalled in the Senate would make Roe v. Wade a law, would extend it – The Denver Post
By MARY CLARE JALONICK
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Democrats’ abortion legislation is “very simple” because it would enshrine in federal law the historic 1973 Roe v. Wade who legalized abortion nationwide.
Senate Democrats moved quickly to try to codify the 50-year-old decision after a draft opinion from the US Supreme Court was leaked suggesting the court is set to overturn the case. last week. But they were unable to overcome a GOP filibuster on the bill, falling well short of the 60 votes needed in Wednesday’s 51-49 vote against advancing the legislation.
If the Democratic legislation were to become law at some point, it would do more than just preserve the status quo.
The bill would also expand protections, invalidating many state laws that Democrats and abortion rights advocates say violated the original 1973 ruling. Two Republican senators who support abortion rights indicated they would not vote for it, preferring instead their own narrower legislation.
A look at legislation blocked by Senate Republicans on Wednesday:
CODING ROE V. WADE
Generally speaking, the primary purpose of the legislation is to codify Roe v. Wade in federal law, which means it would be much harder for the Supreme Court to overturn. In the five decades that the decision has been a legal precedent, proponents of abortion rights have been unable to pass federal legislation to legalize abortion. And because the Supreme Court has ruled on this right, it can also take it away, however rare such a ruling may be.
By codifying Roe, the legislation would establish that health care providers have the right to provide abortion services and that patients have the right to have abortions.
PROHIBITION OF CERTAIN RESTRICTIONS
The Democrats’ bill would also end some state laws they say chipped away at the original Roe v. Wade, banning what they say are medically unnecessary restrictions that block access to safe and accessible abortions. The court allowed states to regulate but not ban abortion before the point of viability, about 24 weeks, resulting in a variety of state laws and restrictions that proponents of abortion rights fall back on. oppose.
The bill would prevent prohibitions earlier than 24 weeks, in addition to all restrictions that do not make exceptions for the health or life of the patient. It would also prevent states from requiring providers to share “medically inaccurate” information, or requiring additional tests or waiting periods, aimed at deterring a patient from having an abortion.
Unlike most of their GOP colleagues, Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska support abortion rights. But they opposed the Democratic legislation, saying it is too broad and could threaten some religious freedoms that states have sought to protect.
They introduced their own legislation that would approximate what the court currently allows, more generally prohibiting states from placing an “undue burden” on a woman’s ability to choose to have an abortion before fetal viability. He should not get a vote, for the moment, but the two women say they are still working on the alternative.
Without the votes to pass their bill, Democrats have few other options to block the court’s eventual decision, if it overturns Roe v. Wade. They promised to keep trying to stop him.
Democratic leaders have signaled their best option is to battle voters ahead of this year’s midterm elections.
“We have to win the election,” Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn, said Tuesday.
Associated Press writers Lisa Mascaro and Farnoush Amiri contributed to this report.