Joe Manchin opposes Democrats’ abortion rights bill the Senate is voting on Wednesday, ensuring that the legislation will not even receive a simple majority.
The West Virginia Democrat, who generally supports abortion restrictions, said he would back a “clean” bill codifying Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision enshrining abortion rights. But he says the bill before him goes too far, deeming it a “shame” that the party didn’t put something on the floor that could get his vote.
“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,” Manchin said in an interview Wednesday.
The bill before the Senate, written by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), prohibits states from enacting restrictions on abortion, even ones that fall short of full bans, and protects the right to an abortion later in pregnancy.
GOP Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine) generally oppose abortion restrictions, but are voting against Democrats’ legislation today.
They argue the Democratic bill is too expansive, and have introduced their own legislation that would more narrowly protect abortion rights.
With Manchin’s opposition, Senate Democrats will demonstrate there’s a bipartisan majority that opposes their proposal, though they seem unworried by that result.
Regardless, they would need 60 votes under current Senate rules to actually pass protections, and they seem most interested in putting Republicans on record in voting against abortion protections.