Democrats in the US Senate did not get enough votes on Wednesday to push through a bill aimed at protecting abortion at the federal levela right that the Supreme Court seems destined to eliminate in the coming weeks.
The initiative was shipwrecked in a key vote, since the Democrats did not get the 60 supports necessary for it to begin being debated in the Senate.
(Also read: What implications does the repeal of abortion in the US have in the world?)
With US Vice President Kamala Harris presiding over the session, the 50 Republicans voted en bloc against, while the Democrats one by one voted in favor while shouting: “aye!” (Yes).
The only Democrat who broke ranks with his party was Joe Manchin, the last to vote and who left the scoreboard at 49 votes in favor and 51 against.
The vote took place in a climate of high tension after last week the media Politician publish a draft of a US Supreme Court ruling that aims to revoke the right to abortion that court enshrined in the landmark “Roe v. Wade” ruling in 1973.
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The leak put Democrats on the defensive, as repeal of “Roe v. Wade” would allow Republicans to restrict and even eliminate that right passing laws in state parliaments.
“Today’s vote is one of the most important that we will celebrate in decades,” said the leader of the Democrats in the Upper House, Chuck Schumer, before the vote.
Schumer had promoted the vote with the aim of forcing senators to take a public position despite the fact that it had little chance of succeeding.
(Also: What is at stake if the Court overturns the right to abortion in the United States)
Currently, the Senate is divided in half with 50 seats for the Republicans and 50 for the Democrats, who hold the majority thanks to the tiebreaker vote Harris, who serves as speaker of the chamber.
Schumer insisted that there will be “real” and “immediate” consequences if the Supreme Court overturns “Roe v. Wade.”
Specifically, if the Supreme Court strikes down abortion protection, 26 of the 50 US states will take steps to restrict it.
That would mean that approximately half of the women of reproductive age in the United States, some 36 million, would be left without access to that service in the territory where they live, according to calculations by Planned Parenthood, the largest network of reproductive health clinics in the United States. .
President Biden reacts to the decision
US President Joe Biden has lashed out at Republicans for blocking a Senate vote on a bill to protect abortion at the federal level.
“Republicans in Congress, none of whom voted for this bill, have chosen to stand in the way of the rights of Americans to make the most personal decisions about their own bodies, families and lives,” Biden said in a statement. release.
After the failure of the bill, called the Law for the Protection of Women’s Health, Biden affirmed that his Government “will not stop in the fight to protect women’s access to reproductive care.”
“We continue to uphold the constitutional rights of women to make their own personal reproductive choices, as recognized in Roe v. Wade nearly half a century ago, and my Administration will continue to explore measures and tools at our disposal to do so,” Biden pledged.
Biden urged Americans to go to the polls in the mid-term legislative elections next November to elect senators who are in favor of defending the right to abortion and so that the Lower House once again has a favorable majority to protect it.
“If this is done, Congress could approve this draft in January and put it on my table to sign the law,” he remarked.
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