Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed on Thursday to push for a vote next week on a measure that would legalize abortion nationwide after the leak of a draft Supreme Court decision overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision was published on Monday evening.
The vote will make it “crystal clear” which side of the abortion debate the GOP is on, said the powerful Democrat from New York
But Republicans have said they will use their filibuster power to block the bill, essentially dooming it to failure.
“The Republican party will either side with the extremists who want to ban abortion, or side with women with families, and with the vast majority of Americans,” said Schumer who was referring to polls showing most Americans support abortion rights and oppose overturning Roe v. Wade, which has been the law of the land for more than 50 years.
“Next week’s vote will be one of the most important we ever take,” Schumer added.
Schumer set the debate on the measure for Monday, a schedule that would likely lead to a vote on Wednesday.
A similar bill failed last year with only 46 votes, offering a grim prognosis for passage.
However, Schumer and some Democrats hope that the leaked Supreme Court decision may convince some moderates to back the bill since they can now see how serious the threat to abortion rights is.
Republicans plan to use their filibuster power to block the bill, meaning 60 votes would be needed to pass it. The bill will likely fall far short of that even if pro-choice Republicans like Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) back it.
The only other way of pushing the bill through would be for all 50 Democrats to vote to scrap the filibuster.
Moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have repeatedly declared they will not agree to that move, leaving little hope for passage.
Outraged Democrats point out that scrapping Roe could undermine the justification for other rulings protecting gay rights, access to contraception and other civil rights.
Republicans have sought to focus on the rare nature of the leak to deflect attention from the implications of the decision, which will be released in final form in June or July.
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