May 3, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Democrats lack votes to end filibuster for abortion protections

Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) said Tuesday they plan to uphold the filibuster in the wake of the leaked draft decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on overturning Roe v. Wade.

Why it matters: Democrats have very few legislative options to try to stop the Supreme Court from carrying out a decision that would end the nationwide right to an abortion. While Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) vowed to hold a vote on codifying Roe v. Wade, the measure which as of now does not yet even have 50 votes would fail to meet the filibuster’s 60-vote threshold.

What they’re saying: Manchin told reporters: “The filibuster is a protection of democracy.”

  • Manchin voted against similar legislation trying to codify abortion rights earlier this year.

Sinema: While Sinema is supportive of abortion rights, her spokesperson said her views on preserving the filibuster are unchanged and pointed to seven Senate votes where a 60-vote threshold ultimately protected abortion rights.

  • “Protections in the Senate safeguarding against the erosion of women’s access to health care have been used half-a-dozen times in the past 10 years, and are more important now than ever.”
  • “A woman’s health care choices should be between her, her family, and her doctor. Overturning Roe v. Wade endangers the health and wellbeing of women in Arizona and across America,” she said.

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