Protesters on Tuesday marched from the U.S. Capitol to the Senate to demand that lawmakers pass a bill that would codify 1973’s Roe v. Wade into law.
The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the “Women’s Health Protection Act” on Wednesday. The bill would cement abortion rights into federal law through congressional legislation rather than precedents set by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The bill would also create provisions requiring states to allow abortion access regardless of their laws while allowing women to have abortions so long as a single healthcare provider says the pregnancy is a risk to the mother’s health or life, regardless of fetal viability.
However, the bill stands little chance of overcoming a Republican filibuster. When considering an earlier version of the bill in February, Democrats could not get enough senators to reach the 60-vote threshold needed to begin debate and vote on the bill. Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin, who is pro-life, has yet to publicly state whether he will support or oppose the bill. Arizona Democrat Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has repeatedly said she will not vote to abolish the filibuster.
The Women’s Health Protection Act passed through the House last year after Texas and other red states passed more restrictive abortion laws. The bill would legalize some abortions through all nine months of a woman’s pregnancy.
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After the publication of the Supreme Court opinion draft that would overturn Roe v. Wade, Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Senate would hold a procedural vote to begin debate on the legislation.
The leaked court opinion draft, published by Politico last week, has ignited a firestorm across the country, pivoting either camp of the abortion debate against each other – and tensions are only expected to increase has the nation heads towards the November midterms.
In the days since, rallies organized by abortion rights advocates and as well as opponents have broken out in front of the Supreme Court and around the country. Some of these protests have happened in front of Justice’s homes, prompting the Senate to pass legislation to beef up security for them, ensuring they and their families are protected as the court deliberates abortion access and whether to overturn Roe v. Wade.
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Protests have erupted in front of the Supreme Court Building and around the country after a leaked draft opinion suggested a majority of conservatives on the court are prepared to end the constitutional right to an abortion.
Police have set up a tall fence and blocked off streets this week as people have protested in front of the Supreme Court Building, which is across from the U.S. Capitol. They have also shut down the plaza and steps in front of the building.
On Monday, more than 100 people gathered Monday night outside Justice Samuel Alito’s home in Virginia, lighting candles and chanting, “Abort the court!”
Dozens of people also gathered over the weekend outside the homes of Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts in the Washington and Maryland suburbs.
Fox News’ Houston Keened and The Associated Press contributed to this report.