On Wednesday, Senate Democrats are set to vote on an extreme abortion bill known as the Women's Health Protection Act (WHPA) that will not only codify 1973's Roe v. Wade but do far worse, as Guy highlighted last week. All eyes have been on Sen. Joe Manchin, a conservative, pro-life Democrat from West Virginia. Hours before the vote, he confirmed he is indeed voting against it, consistent with his previous vote on the bill earlier this year.
MANCHIN: "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." pic.twitter.com/yfj6w3gTXU— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) May 11, 2022
Manchin spoke with CNN's Manu Raju to confirm that he is a "no" vote and shed some light on his overall position about abortion, including how he is one of the few remaining pro-life Democrats in federal office.
This means there is expected to be a bipartisan majority voting against advancing the plan today— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 11, 2022
Manchin: "The bill we have to day to vote on, the Women’s Health Protection Act, ... it is not Roe v. Wade codification, it’s an expansion."— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 11, 2022
He added when "justices came to us and they confirmed their belief and support of precedent of law, I believed them. We found out that’s not what they’re either moving towards or, we’ll find out when they have the final ruling come out, but I was very disappointed to see that"— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 11, 2022
Sen. Manchin is right to fear such "an expansion" of Roe in that it would do away with pro-life laws that have been passed at the state level for years. Pro-abortion Democrats, such as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), have gotten something right in their fear-mongering, which is that states have been passing a record amount of pro-life laws in recent years.
That being said, under Roe v. Wade and its companion case of Doe v. Bolton, as well as 1992's Planned Parenthood v. Casey, states are nevertheless limited under what laws they can pass to restrict or regulate abortion.
Manchin's stance led National Review Online's Dan McLaughlin to question if the senator was even pro-life.
The bad news is that Manchin, like most "pro-life" Democrats, isn't actually pro-life. The good news is that, unlike most "pro-life" Democrats, he is at least serious about not being 100% pro-abortion to the moment of birth. https://t.co/ZFLqrkGUwN— Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank) May 11, 2022
Sen. Manchin appears to have the same position as Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who considers herself a pro-choice Republican. She voted against the WHPA earlier this year as well and plans to vote against it again on Wednesday. She and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), another pro-choice Republican, have introduced their own legislation to codify Roe and Casey.
While Roe remains the law of the land, the United States is just one of seven nations that allows for elective abortions past 20-weeks.
Sen. Manchin has also voted against the party line when it comes to keeping the Hyde Amendment in place, which protects taxpaying Americans from having to fund elective abortions. The budget rider, which has passed every year since 1976, once had heavily bipartisan support, including from President Joe Biden when he was a senator from Delaware and vice president under the Obama administration. Democrats finally caved when it came to allowing it this year, though they are no less relentless in their pro-abortion agenda and have left it out again for the next budget.