Democrats continue to show some divide on issues important to their party, after a plan to protect abortion access was met with surprising opposition this week.
“The Kaine-Collins bill does not codify Roe,” U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren said on NBC News.
“No,” Warren said when asked if she would support the bill.
Massachusetts’ senior senator will not support a bipartisan bill aimed at protecting access to reproductive care, she said late Tuesday, a decision that all but kills a Senate plan to restore some of the protections recently overturned by the Supreme Court.
Warren’s ‘no’ vote is as good as a death sentence for the bipartisan plan introduced Monday by Democratic Senators Tim Kaine of Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, and Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
The bill, officially the Reproductive Freedom for All Act, according to its text, aims “to guarantee that Americans have the freedom to make certain reproductive decisions without undue government interference.”
“For decades, the Supreme Court of the United States has held that the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment encompasses a right to make certain reproductive decisions without undue government interference,” the bill reads.
Even with Warren’s support the bill’s fate was in doubt, since Senate Democrats would need all 48 members from their party, both independents, and at least ten Republicans voting in favor to move the bill forward.
Warren said it does not go far enough to reestablish the protections guaranteed by Roe and that it isn’t really an improvement from where the nation’s laws stand now.
On Thursday, she joined Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono and Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin in urging Biden to use his executive authority to make abortion medications more readily available nationally, even as some Republican-led states move to restrict both abortion and contraception.
“As states escalate bans and restrictions on abortion, there is more urgency than ever to take immediate steps to expand access to medication abortion,” the lawmakers wrote.
“We support your efforts to take all possible actions to protect abortion access, and as you work to meet this goal, we urge you to consider these options, which we believe will have the greatest impact on expanding access to medication abortion across the nation,” they wrote.
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