Democrats in the United States lose their order to protect the right to abortion

The Democrats of the United States lost this Wednesday the order they had launched in the Senate to approve a law aimed at protecting abortion at the federal level, fearing that the Supreme Court will end that right 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.

Although he already knew that it was going to fail, the leader of the Democrats in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, had insisted that the project be put to the vote in order to show his support for the most progressive base of the party before the legislative elections. of November.

TENSION IN THE CORRIDORS

The vote took place in a climate of high tension with the Republicans showing pictures of babies in the hemicycle and giving incendiary speeches, while in the corridors the legislators of the Lower House marched to the cry of: “My body! My decision! ”.

There was also a large security device around the Supreme Court and Congress, while officers with dogs patrolled the corridors inside.

The vote comes after last week the Political medium published a draft of a US Supreme Court ruling that points to the elimination of the right to abortion that court enshrined in the historic ruling “Roe v. Wade” in 1973 .

The leak has put Democrats on the defensive, as repealing that ruling would allow Republicans to restrict, and even revoke, that right by passing legislation in state parliaments.

Before the vote, the White House said in a statement that it was “urgent” to protect women’s rights and Vice President Kamala Harris approached the Senate to preside over the vote.

“Sadly, the Senate today has not upheld a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body,” Harris told reporters outside the chamber.

In a statement after the vote, US President Joe Biden urged Americans to elect legislators in the next election who protect the right to abortion.

THE CENTRISTS DO NOT LET THEMSELVES BE CONQUERED

Despite pressure from the White House and his own party, West Virginia’s centrist Senator Joe Manchin voted with the Republican caucus to prevent the so-called “Protect Women’s Health Rights Act” from being debated.

In the halls before the vote, Manchin said the proposed legislation went “too far.”

If passed, the bill would not only have signed into law the famous “Roe v. Wade” ruling, but would also have annulled the state laws that conservative states like Texas have passed in recent years to restrict abortion and whose entry into force has permitted by the Supreme Court.

Two centrist senators from the Republican Party, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, took a position on Wednesday in a statement in favor of protecting abortion, but also rejected the Democratic initiative.

In exchange, they asked for a more limited scope project that both presented in February to be put to the vote.

In the chamber, which was almost empty with senators coming and going, many of the eyes were also on Democrat Bob Casey, who a few hours ago announced that he would vote in favor of protecting abortion, breaking with the position he has maintained throughout his race.

His twist has symbolic meaning because his father, Robert Casey, was the Pennsylvania governor who first got the Supreme Court in 1992 to allow some state-approved restrictions on abortion to go into effect.

THE REPUBLICANS, BETWEEN DISCRETION AND THE SHOW

For their part, the Republicans tried to keep a low profile, certain that the vote would fail, while using their time on the floor to make inflammatory comments and show pictures of babies.

The leader of the Republicans in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, even said that the Democrats want to allow abortion up to nine months, something that is totally false.

Polls show that 69% of Americans believe the Supreme Court should not abolish abortion rights, so Democrats are doing everything they can to mobilize their voters ahead of November’s midterm elections.

Republicans prefer to focus the debate on the economy and inflation.

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. .