Topline

The Senate voted against moving forward with the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) Wednesday, which would codify abortion rights into federal law, blocking the measure in a 49-51 vote with the Supreme Court expected to overturn Roe v. Wade in the coming weeks.

Key Facts

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All Senate Republicans voted against moving forward with debate on the legislation—including moderate Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), while all Democrats backed it except for Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.).

The bill would have needed 60 votes to move forward under the Senate’s filibuster rules, but Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) said they were unwilling to abolish the filibuster to pass the legislation with only a simple majority of votes—which WHPA still would not have received.

WHPA would have enshrined the right to an abortion, as well as outlawed many common restrictions on the procedure like waiting periods and restrictions on medication abortion, which states have imposed even with Roe in place.

The vote tally was largely unchanged from the Senate’s 46-48 vote on the bill in February, in which Manchin, Collins and Murkowski also all opposed the legislation (some senators were not present for that vote).

The moderate senators believe the legislation goes too far, and Collins had raised objections to it not adequately shielding Catholic hospitals from being forced to perform abortions (which Democrats have said is false).

The version of WHPA voted on Wednesday was largely the same as what the chamber considered in February, with bill sponsor Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) only removing some language that was considered politically divisive, like references to “white supremacy” and “gender oppression.”