Manchin sole anti-abortion Democratic senator after Casey backs Schumer bill

Washington Examiner

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Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), who has long presented himself as anti-abortion, said he would vote for sweeping abortion rights legislation, making centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) the sole remaining anti-abortion Democratic senator.

Casey said Tuesday that he would vote in favor of the Women’s Health Protection Act, which Democrats are advancing in reaction to the news of the draft opinion overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide. The bill would go further than Roe and would guarantee access to abortion through viability and beyond, if a medical provider determined it was necessary, and would also cancel state laws limiting access to abortion.

Casey’s stance is new in that he explicitly said he would vote for the final passage of the bill. He had previously voted to move to final consideration of the bill when Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer brought it up in February, but the measure did not get the 60 votes required to end debate and overcome any filibusters. A similar outcome is expected when Schumer brings up the bill again on Wednesday, but Casey outlined his support for final passage anyway.

“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?” Casey said Tuesday. “During my time in public office, I have never voted for, nor do I support, such a ban.”

Manchin has not said how he will vote Wednesday, but he voted against ending debate and moving to passage of the bill in February and was the only Democrat to do so. Manchin, who has called himself “a lifelong abortion opponent,” is a key swing vote in the Senate.

Schumer is moving toward the vote with the intention of putting Republicans on record as being opposed to abortion rights, a move that Democrats hope will help them in the November midterm elections.

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