DES MOINES, Iowa – The U.S. Senate on Wednesday voted 48 to 51 against cloture for S. 4132, the “Women’s Health Protection Act,” a bill that would codify abortion rights in federal law.
Senate Majority Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., promised a vote on the measure after Politico reported a leaked draft Supreme Court opinion in Jackson Women’s Health Center v. Dobbs that would overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
The bill essentially codifies Roe v. Wade and only allows states to restrict abortion “post-viability” unless “the good-faith medical judgment of the treating health care provider, continuation of the pregnancy would pose a risk to the pregnant patient’s life or health.”
The bill nullifies almost every abortion restriction except some late-term abortion bans in certain states.
Iowa’s U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst joined their Republican colleagues in voting against the bill. U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., was the lone Democrat voting with Republicans. A cloture vote requires a 60 vote majority to proceed with a final vote.
“The bill before us would invalidate these state laws and would allow abortion providers to set the standard of care for their patients with no oversight from the states. It would allow health care workers to determine when a life is viable, which will lead to inconsistent practices across the country and endanger the lives of mothers everywhere,” Grassley said during floor remarks before Wednesday’s vote.
“If the bill before us were to be signed into law, the federal government would send a message to states that enacting laws to protect patients and regulate the health and welfare of their citizens is not their right. It would allow Congress to intrude on state’s authority and nullify life-saving laws on the books. It would invalidate the police powers of the state under the 10th amendment,” he added.
“The Women’s Health Protection Act is an extreme bill that completely disregards human life,” Grassley concluded.
The U.S. House passed their version of the bill in September by a 218 to 211 vote with U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, being the Iowa delegation’s sole vote in favor of the bill.