Senate Democrats intend to mark the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade by pushing a collection of abortion rights messaging bills.
Ahead of the anniversary on Saturday, Sen. Patty Murray, a member of Democratic leadership from Washington state, will ask for “unanimous consent” on legislation which would seek to expand abortion access for women in the US. The procedural step allows any single senator to ask for a vote on a bill, but any one senator can object and the bill fails. It is a quick way to force a vote on an issue, but it won’t force every senator to go on the record, meaning Democrats and Republicans who may be facing a tough election in 2024 won’t be forced to take a vote.
All of the requests are expected to fail.
“Senate Democrats will force Republicans to go on the record once again, and explain to the American people why they refuse to codify our right to contraception, why they refuse to let women travel across state lines for lifesaving health care – as we fight to get the votes we need to restore Roe, it’s imperative that we make plain to the country just how extreme and dangerous Republicans’ anti-abortion agenda is,” Murray said in a statement.
Abortion politics have also recently been in the spotlight in the Senate as Sen. Tommy Tuberville, an Alabama Republican, has placed a hold on confirming more than 250 military promotions over a Pentagon policy created after the Dobbs decision, which allows servicemembers to access time off and reimbursement for travel costs if they have to cross state lines to access reproductive care.
In the 2022 midterms, abortion was a crucial motivator for many voters, as CNN exit polls showed that 46% of people said that abortion was the most important issue to their vote. Abortion is also likely to be a cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign, as administration officials highlight what Democrats have done to protect access to abortion.