Senator Lankford points to a 4D ultrasound of the same baby in the womb, shown at left, to the one on the right.

The “extreme” legislation would have made abortion a statutory right, allowed abortion up to birth and abolished state laws regulating the procedure. 

Over the last week, Americans learned that a majority of Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court could overturn Roe v. Wade this summer and send the decision on how best to regulate abortion policy back to the states, just as Mississippi argued in defense of its 15-week abortion ban.

That revelation came in the form of a leaked draft opinion in Mississippi’s Dobbs case.

READ MORE: Leaked draft SCOTUS opinion in Mississippi’s Dobbs case points to overturning Roe v. Wade

In response to that leak, U.S. Senate Democrats, led by New York Senator Chuck Schumer and urged on by President Joe Biden, took up a measure on Wednesday that would have codified abortion access in federal law, undermined over 500 state laws, and allowed abortion up to birth, among other provisions.

The largely symbolic attempt failed as expected as Democrats were unable to either secure the votes to upend the filibuster rule that would have allowed a simple majority vote or reach the 60-vote threshold in the 50-50 split Senate to invoke cloture.

In calling the bill up for consideration, Vice President Kamala Harris, present in the chamber to break a tie vote regarding a presidential appointment, noticeably omitted the word “women” from the title of the abortion bill and replaced it with “person.”

Senate Republicans, including Mississippi’s two Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith, proceeded to vote en bloc against the legislation.

022822 Womens Health Protection Act 2
Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith

“Democrats and their pro-abortion allies are alarmed and in a mad rush to enshrine in federal law a virtually unlimited right to abort babies right up to their birth.  This misguided bill is just another facet of the radical abortion movement’s assault on the Supreme Court or any institution willing to protect the preborn,” Senator Hyde-Smith said following her vote.

Senator Hyde-Smith noted that the “so-called women’s health legislation only mentions ‘women’ in the title and never mentions the terms ‘woman,’ ‘female,’ or even ‘mother.’”  She went on to say that not only would it broaden support for the abortion industry, it would strike down reasonable state laws regarding informed consent, waiting periods, parental involvement and such.

“I’m proud of my vote to once again stop another misguided and radical attempt to make abortion on demand until birth the law of the land,” Hyde-Smith said.

The final vote against the measure was 51-49, with West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin voting as the lone Democrat against the bill along with all Senate Republicans.

Senator Manchin recognized how poor of an idea his colleagues’ legislation was for America, telling the D.C. press prior to the vote why he would not be supporting its passage.

“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,” Senator Manchin said.

Manchin has already said he was opposed to ending the filibuster rule over this issue.

Senator Schumer, the Senate Democratic Majority Leader, defended this expansion of abortion by saying America has always sought to expand rights, and the failure of this bill meant that, “Our kids would grow up in a country with fewer rights.”

The Democrats’ bill – S. 4132, or the “Women’s Health Protection Act of 2022” – would have, among other things:

  • Given a statutory right to abortion.
  • Superseded or abolished every state abortion law.
  • Allowed abortion up until birth.
  • Ended any waiting period laws, parental rights laws for minors, and religious freedom laws related to abortion.

Mississippi Senator Wicker spoke against the Democrats’ abortion bill on Tuesday, a day before the vote of the full chamber.  He called the legislation “extreme.”

It has been said that this is a mere codification of the Court’s holding in Roe v. Wade.  That is, in fact, not the case. Instead, the bill that we will be asked to move to the floor tomorrow is an attempt to expand abortion dramatically across this county, to expand abortion in a way that only a small handful of the most repressive governments on the face of the Earth permit,” Wicker said. “The bill would eliminate even the most modest protections for unborn children across all 50 states.  It would force all 50 states to allow gruesome late-term abortions, that even the political left all over Europe have long ago outlawed.”

Ahead of the Senate vote on Wednesday, House Democrat staffers marched over from their side of the Capitol, chanting with raised voices in the halls, “My body, my decision,” as Senators spoke.  Their protest could be heard on the Senate floor.