Arizona’s senators vote to advance federal abortion bill; measure fails to gain enough support

By Yvonne Wingett Sanchez | Arizona Republic

Senate Democrats’ effort to advance legislation to codify abortion rights at the federal level failed Wednesday.

On a 49-51 vote, Democrats did not muster the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster in the evenly-divided chamber. Both of Arizona’s Democratic Senators, Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly, voted to advance the legislation.

Sen. Joe Manchin, the moderate Democrat from West Virginia who voted against a similar measure in February, again voted against moving forward with the Democrats’ bill.  

The vote was intended to put all 100 U.S. senators on the record on the issue before the November midterm elections. It comes after a leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion that would strike down federal abortion rights. 

Election 2022:Court abortion leak could rock Arizona races up and down the ballot

Sinema has supported abortion rights throughout her career in the House and Senate and last week reiterated her position that women’s health care decisions should be their own. 

A crowd of anti-abortion protesters hold signs in front of abortion rights protesters at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix on May 3, 2022.

“A woman’s health care choices should be between her, her family, and her doctor. I voted for the Women’s Health Protection Act and will continue working with anyone to protect women’s ability to make decisions about their futures,” she said on Twitter following the vote.

Kelly, who faces re-election this year, has said that overturning Roe would be a step backwards.

Ahead of Wednesday’s vote, he said in a video posted to Twitter that it was important for women to make their own decisions about their health care. 

“I’m really concerned because I have a 1-year-old granddaughter and if what the Supreme Court did last week actually becomes the law, then my granddaughter will have fewer rights than my grandmother,” he said. “That just takes us in the wrong direction, a giant leap backwards.”

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