- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 5, 2022

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer is pressing forward on a doomed vote to enshrine abortion rights into federal law, despite even proponents saying the effort is destined to fail.

Mr. Schumer, New York Democrat, said a vote would take place as early as next week and force every senator to go on record with their stance, in light of the Supreme Court preparing to overturn of Roe v. Wade.

“All week we’ve been seeing Republicans try to duck, dodge and dip from their responsibility for bringing Roe to the brink of total repeal,” Mr. Schumer said. “Next week the American people will see crystal clear that when given the chance to right this wrong, the Republican Party will either side with the extremists who want to ban abortion without exceptions or side with women, families and the vast majority of Americans.”

To succeed, at least 60 votes will be needed in the evenly split Senate to overcome an expected filibuster by Republicans. Almost no one expects even all 50 Democrats to back the effort.

Similar legislation to codify abortion rights into law failed in the Senate earlier this year. The bill not only failed to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a GOP filibuster, but also failed to garner 50 votes in the 100-member chamber.

It wouldn’t have passed even if Democrats ended the Senate filibuster rule that requires 60 votes for most legislation to survive in the upper chamber. That reality is because Sen. Joe Manchin III, a moderate West Virginia Democrat who has often identified as pro-life, voted with Republicans to block the bill.

SEE ALSO: ‘Ruth Sent Us’ activists plan abortion protests at churches, Supreme Court justices’ homes

In light of that reality, Democrats are renewing their calls to abolish the filibuster and push through legislation protecting abortion. Some Democrats believe that once the filibuster is gone, at least two pro-choice GOP lawmakers will cross-party lines to vote for codifying Roe.

“We’re having the vote next week, we’ll see where everyone stands,” said Mr. Schumer. “Once we have that vote we will figure out the best way to go from there.”

• Haris Alic can be reached at halic@washingtontimes.com.

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