These 8 Republican Women Voted Against Codifying Roe v. Wade

By Giulia Carbonaro

Republicans in the Senate blocked a national abortion rights bill which aimed to codify the right to abortion in the U.S. at a federal level.

The bill, pushed forward by Democrats as a protest gesture against revelations that the Supreme Court is seemingly preparing to overturn Roe v. Wade, needed to reach a 60-vote threshold to pass, but it failed to do so, as was widely expected.

The vote was opposed by 51 senators, with only 49 votes in favor—falling considerably short of the necessary threshold.

The measure was unanimously opposed by all Republican senators, who were joined by one Democrat, Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia.

Eight women were among the 50 Republican senators who voted to oppose abortion becoming enshrined in federal law: Senator Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa, Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Senator Susan Collins of Maine.

Mississippi, Tennessee and Wyoming, states represented by three of these senators, are considered among the 13 states where overturning Roe v. Wade would immediately trigger state-wide abortion bans.

Alaska, Iowa and West Virginia have no immediate laws banning or protecting abortion rights, but West Virginia is among the states considered by analysts likely to follow with severe restrictions to the right to abortion if Roe v. Wade falls.

Senator Lummis had announced she would have voted against the bill before Wednesday, saying she would oppose it because "it is not just a codification of Roe vs. Wade, it expands Roe vs. Wade dramatically and once again tries to legislate at the Federal level matters that should be handled by the states," she said, as reported by Wyoming News Now.

Senator Blackburn also made her stance on abortion rights clear, writing on Twitter after the Senate vote saying she voted no "on the radical left's plan to make every state a late-term abortion state, allow dismemberment and telemedicine abortions, and remove informed consent."

Senator Hyde-Smith wrote on Twitter that she was "proud" of her vote "to stop another misguided, radical attempt to make abortion on demand the law of the land."

Senators Ernst and Fischer are both long-standing opponents of abortions, and their vote against the bill on Wednesday was expected.

Senator Shelley Moore Capito wrote in a statement following the vote that she had opposed "this radical legislation" because she considers it to deny "faith-based conscience protections under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993" and to create "a right to an abortion at any point of the pregnancy."

Senator Murkowski has repeatedly expressed her support for codifying Roe v. Wade, but had announced she would have voted against the abortion bill on Wednesday because, in her opinion, it went further than Roe, "nullifying state and religious freedom laws across the country in the process."

"I strongly support women's reproductive freedoms, including the right to abortion established by Roe and Casey. I also believe in limited government and an individual's liberty to make choices about their own health," said Murkowski in an official statement.

The Alaska's Senator opposes late-term abortions, with the exceptions of cases of rape, incest, or threat to a woman's life.

Senator Collins of Maine has a very similar opinion to that of Murkowski. Collins said she support enshrining the right to abortion under federal law as per Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, but she does not support legislation that undercut "basic conscience protections" for individual states.

In February, the two senators have introduced their own bill to codify Roe v. Wade and protect abortion rights under federal law, the Reproductive Choice Act.

"Unlike some far-left activists, Senator Murkowski and I want the law today to be the law tomorrow. That's why we introduced legislation in February that would enshrine the important Roe and Casey protections into law without undercutting statutes that have been in place for decades and without eliminating basic conscience protections that are relied upon by health care providers who have religious objections to performing abortions," said Collins in an official statement on her website.