A coalition of pro-choice groups Monday urged moderate Republicans to abandon their alternative to a Democratic push to legalize abortion after the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion that will likely soon overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
The 17 abortion rights groups told Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) that their bill — framed as an option that could gain some GOP support — would not effectively protect women’s right to choose.
“(The bill) would not protect the right to abortion. It fails to expressly prohibit pre-viability abortion bans,” the letter reads. “The bill’s vague wording could give courts additional arguments to uphold abortion restrictions and pre-viability bans.”
The coalition, including liberal heavyweights like Planned Parenthood, NARAL, the Center for American Progress and the ACLU, want to toss cold water on the idea that Democrats should back the bill backed by Collins and Murkowski to put a bipartisan gloss on their push to protect abortion rights.
They pointed out that the Collins/Murkowski bill fails to emphatically back the red lines that courts interpreting Roe have drawn that abortion is a constitutional right if the procedure happens before a fetus can live outside the womb.
“It offers no assurance that pre-viability bans on abortion … would be invalid,” the letter said. “Likewise, the bill would not stop bans modeled after Texas’ vigilante-enforced ban on abortion.”
Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to force a vote on his own Senate pro-choice bill as soon as Wednesday.
Neither bill has any chance of winning the 60 votes needed to overcome a certain Republican filibuster.
A similar measure only won 46 votes last year, with some moderate Democrats opposed.
Given that math, Schumer and other Democratic leaders are unlikely to compromise with a couple of moderate GOP lawmakers who have virtually no sway in their party.
Instead, Schumer plans to push the Democratic bill in a gambit to get all Republicans to vote against it, a clear-cut partisan split that could offer Democrats a significant and much-needed boost in the upcoming midterm elections.
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