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Dem Senator Comes Out in Opposition to Abortion Bill

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Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) says he opposes a bill designed to enshrine abortion access because it is an “expansion” of Roe v. Wade.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Manchin, who describes himself as pro-life, said, “The bill we have today to vote on, the Women’s Health Protection Act, and I respect people who support it, but make no mistake: it is not Roe v. Wade codification. It’s an expansion.”

“It wipes 500 state laws off the books. It expands abortion. And with that that’s not where we are today. We should not be dividing this country further than we’re already divided. And it’s really the politics of Congress that’s dividing the country. It’s not the people, they’re telling us what they want,” he continued.

Finally, Manchin said, “It’s just disappointing that we’re going to be voting on a piece of legislation which I will not vote for today.”

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Last week, Politico reported that a leaked draft opinion penned by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito appears to show the court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Manchin’s comments come ahead of a Senate vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act which is designed to protect abortion access.

However, the bill is expected to fail.

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Without Manchin’s support, Democrats would need at least 11 Republican senators to overcome a filibuster.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar told NPR, “I think it’s really important to have this vote to show where everyone stands.”

While Manchin opposes the bill, Sen. Bill Casey (D-Pa.) — who is also pro-life — announced he would vote for the legislation, as IJR reported.

“This week, I will again vote yes to advance debate on the Women’s Health Protection Act and I will support the bill if there is a vote on final passage in the future,” Casey said in a statement.

He added, “In the nearly three months since the Senate last voted on the Women’s Health Protection Act, the circumstances around the entire debate on abortion have changed.”

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Casey went on :

“In light of the leaked Supreme Court decision draft overturning Roe v. Wade, and subsequent reports that Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate will introduce legislation to enact a nationwide six-week ban, the real question of the moment is: Do you support a categorical ban on abortion?”

Finally, the Pennsylvania senator said, “During my time in public office, I have never voted for — nor do I support — such a ban.”

NPR notes, “Casey is one of the few anti-abortion Democrats in office. His father, Bob Casey Sr., was Pennsylvania governor during the 1992 Supreme Court case Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, which upheld Roe but paved the way for abortion restrictions.”

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