DENVER – Both of Colorado’s U.S. senators voted in favor of proceeding to a vote to pass the bill to enshrine abortion access into federal law, which failed to get the votes needed to pass after Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., and all Senate Republicans voted no.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer put the motion to proceed to debate and a vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act on the floor Wednesday afternoon in hopes that it could get the needed votes to proceed to a vote on the bill itself, which would have required 60 yea votes in order to pass.
The measure itself was not expected to pass because of the Republicans who oppose the measure, but Schumer had vowed last week to put it up for a vote in the wake of the leaked Supreme Court decision that, if it holds, would undo Roe v. Wade protections at the federal level.
The Senate had taken a similar vote on the bill, which has already passed the House, in late February, and saw it fail at the time 46-48, with Manchin again joining Republicans.
But Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper voted in favor of the motion on Wednesday, and in February, and said they would have voted in favor of the bill itself as well.
Bennet said a woman and her doctor, and not politicians, should be the only people deciding whether to have an abortion.
“Today’s setback is disappointing, but not surprising,” Bennet said in a statement. “In the days ahead, we must continue to fight to codify the right to choose.”
Hickenlooper said it was “outrageous” the Supreme Court stands to undo Roe v. Wade and its 50 years of precedent.
“Republicans voted today to put politics between women and their doctors,” he said in a statement. “We aren’t giving up; women’s rights must be protected.”
Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver, the co-chair of the House Pro-Choice Caucus who implored the Senate last week to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act alongside pro-choice advocates, said the failure of the measure in the Senate “is inexcusable.”
“We are frustrated, we are upset and we are angry – but we are also more determined than ever. Our fight to protect Americans’ access to abortion care did not end with today’s vote in the Senate, it has only just begun,” she said in a joint statement with fellow co-chair Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif. “…This weekend, we will take to the streets to join people around the country who – like us – believe that every person deserves the right to make their own decisions about their bodies, lives and futures. We know that the American people are with us in this fight, and we will never give up.”