May 5, 2022 - Health

Schumer: Senate to vote on abortion rights next week despite lacking votes

Photo of Chuck Schumer speaking from a podium with his left hand raised in a fist
Chuck Schumer speaks during a press conference to discuss the vote to codify Roe v. Wade on May 5 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Thursday that the Senate will vote next week to codify abortion rights into federal law even though Democrats lack the votes to ensure the bill's passage.

Why it matters: Abortion advocates and Democratic candidates have doubled down on calls for Congress to pass legislation protecting abortion rights since a leaked draft of a Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade was published.

  • The measure lacks even 50 votes, far short of the 60 votes it would need, as all Republicans are likely to vote against it and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) voted against similar legislation earlier this year.

What he's saying: "Republicans will have two choices: They can own the destruction of women’s rights, or they can reverse course and work to prevent the damage," Schumer said.

Yes, but: "The move is little more than an effort to send a political message ahead of midterm elections and a seismic ruling that could have major legal, cultural and electoral consequences that also carries deep significance for voters across the political spectrum," the New York Times notes.

The big picture: Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) said Tuesday they plan to uphold the filibuster, leaving Democrats with few legislative options to try to stop the Supreme Court from issuing a decision that would end the nationwide right to an abortion.

Go deeper: What abortion access would look like if Roe v. Wade is overturned

Editor's note: This story has been updated to note that Sen. Joe Manchin voted against similar legislation earlier this year.

Go deeper