Congress has battled for years over abortion policy but the Wednesday vote to take up a House-passed bill was given new urgency after the disclosure of a draft Supreme Court opinion by the conservative majority to overturn the Roe decision that many had believed to be settled law.
The Senate rushed Wednesday into an almost-certain-to-fail vote toward enshrining Roe v. Wade abortion access as federal law, a blunt display of the nation’s partisan divide over the landmark court decision and the limits of legislative action, AP reports.
The roll call promised to be the first of several efforts in Congress to preserve the nearly 50-year-old court ruling, which declares a constitutional right to abortion services but is at serious risk of being overturned by a conservative Supreme Court.
President Joe Biden called on the Congress controlled by Democrats to pass legislation to protect abortion services for millions of Americans. But his party’s slim majority appears unable to overcome a filibuster from Republicans, who have been working for decades to install conservative Supreme Court justices and end Roe v. Wade.
“The position of the Biden administration has been clear since day one. We will defend women’s constitutional rights recognized in Roe v. Wade,” White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said ahead of the vote.
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