US Senate strikes down Roe v. Wade codification. What’s next?
- The Senate voted 49-51 on the legislation
- Joe Manchin crossed party lines and voted against the legislation
- "Let us be clear. This fight is not over", US VP Kamala Harris said
While all Republican lawmakers voted against the bill, Democratic legislator Joe Manchin crossed party lines in Wednesday's vote. He previously announced that he will not be voting in favour of it.
The vote comes nearly a week after a draft opinion of the United States Supreme Court leaked. The document hinted that Roe v. Wade may be reversed by the nine-member bench.
Multiple lawmakers already hinted that Wednesday's vote in the Senate was merely symbolic and will act as political fodder for the upcoming midterm elections in the United States.
Vice President Kamala Harris presided over the Senate session. In a video statement released shortly after the vote, Harris said, "Let us be clear. This fight is not over."
She added, "And clearly, we also know we need to elect pro-choice leaders from the local to federal level who will defend and uphold a woman's right to make decisions about her own body."
The Senate can also take up a version of the bill that was proposed by Republican lawmakers like Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins. This version of the legislation would still allow abortions in the country but would not remove other state limits. Democrats called this version of the bill insufficient, Politico reported.
If the bill does not manage to find a clear path to the White House, it is expected to play a major role in the ongoing primary elections too. Pennsylvania, which has its primary polls on May 17, may become the first state to see the impact of Roe v. Wade's possible reversal.