Congressional Democrats are pushing legislation to cement abortion rights into law and protect health-care providers of such services in response to anti-abortion measures in Republican-controlled states.
House Democrats are expected to pass a bill (
Texas banned abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected, generally around six weeks of pregnancy, even in cases of rape or incest. Florida is expected to follow suit with similar legislation.
“It has evoked a response,” House Speaker
Republicans condemn the legislation as too broad because it would end the prohibition on federal funds for abortion services and potentially allow an abortion at any time during a pregnancy.
Some Senate Democrats want their chamber to take up the legislation, even though it lacks the 60 votes needed to move to President Joe Biden’s desk.
“I’d like to see us vote on it straight up on the floor,” Sen.
“We’re not going to pause our current work, but I do think this has to be a priority at some point,” she said.
The bill has widespread support among House Democrats; 214 of the 220 Democrats in the chamber have co-sponsored the bill. A Senate companion has the support of 48 of the 50 Democrats. Sens.
The legislation can pass the House with only Democratic votes. It would need at least 10 Senate Republicans in support to reach the president’s desk, unless Democrats first gather 50 votes to dissolve the chamber’s filibuster rule to circumvent the 60-vote threshold for the abortion measure. Manchin has said he opposes killing the filibuster.