Pelosi Claims Republicans Voted to 'Rip Away' a 'Constitutional Right'


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says Republicans voted to “rip away” a Constitutional right by voting against a bill to codify abortion access.

“It’s great sadness always to talk about Roe v. Wade, and what this draft decision…how harmful it is, how dangerous it is for women and families across the country,” Pelosi said during a press conference on Thursday.

She continued, “Yesterday, Senate Republicans lined up in lockstep behind Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump to vote to rip away the constitutional right of health freedom from American women across the country.”

“Every day, Republicans show their intention to punish and control women,” the California Democrat added.

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Pelosi’s comments come after the Women’s Health Protection Act — a bill to codify abortion access — failed to pass the Senate in a 49-51 vote.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) joined every Republican in voting against it.

He told reporters, “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 added.

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As NPR explained, the bill would “protect a person’s ability to decide to continue or end a pregnancy and would enshrine into law health care providers’ ability to offer abortion services ‘prior to fetal viability’ without restrictions imposed by individual states, like requiring special admitting privileges for providers or imposing waiting periods.

It would additionally “prohibit restrictions on abortion after fetal viability ‘when, in the good-faith medical judgment of the treating health care provider, continuation of the pregnancy would pose a risk to the pregnant patient’s life or health.’”

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The vote comes after a leaked draft Supreme Court opinion appeared to show that it is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade.

In a “Dear Colleague” letter earlier this week, Pelosi said, “Republicans have made clear that their goal will be to seek to criminalize abortion nationwide.  Republican state legislators across the country are already advancing extreme new laws, seeking to arrest doctors for offering reproductive care, ban abortion entirely with no exceptions, and even charge women with murder who exercise their right to choose.”

“Make no mistake: once Republicans have dispensed with precedent and privacy in overturning Roe, they will take aim at additional basic human rights.  At this pivotal moment, the stakes for women – and every American – could not be higher,” she added.

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