'Pro-Life For Life': How Is Manchin Still Pro-Life In Such A Death Infested Party?

By Jacob Taylor | Friday, 13 May 2022 19:25
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Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), who has long believed against abortion, said he would vote for sweeping abortion rights legislation, making centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) the only anti-abortion Democratic senator left.

On Tuesday, Casey said that he would opt for the Women’s Health Protection Act, which Democrats are moving following the news of the draft opinion overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision to legalize abortion nationwide. The bill would go further than Roe and would guarantee access to abortion through viability and beyond if a medical provider decided it was needed and would also cancel state laws restricting access to abortion.

Casey’s opinion is surprising since he explicitly said he would vote for the final passage of the bill. He had previously voted to move to final consideration of the bill when Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer brought it up in February. Still, the measure did not get the 60 votes needed to complete the debate and overcome any filibusters. A similar outcome is expected when Schumer brings up the bill again on Wednesday, but Casey described his support for the final passage anyway.

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“In light of the leaked Supreme Court decision draft overturning Roe v. Wade and subsequent reports that Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate will introduce legislation to enact a nationwide six-week ban, the real question of the moment is: Do you support a categorical ban on abortion?” Casey said Tuesday. “During my time in public office, I have never voted for, nor do I support, such a ban.”

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Manchin has not said how he will vote Wednesday, though he voted against ending debate and advancing to the passage of the bill in February and was the only Democrat to do so. Manchin, who has described himself as “a lifelong abortion opponent,” is a key swing vote in the Senate.

Schumer is moving toward the vote to put Republicans on record as being opposed to abortion rights, a move that Democrats expect will help them in the November midterm elections.

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Casey has voted in favor of GOP-led legislation to limit abortion in the later stages of pregnancy, such as a ban on the procedure at 20 weeks, just a few weeks earlier than the current law permits. He most recently voted in favor of legislation that would mandate medical care for infants delivered after botched abortions.

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The broader Democratic Party has shifted left on abortion. Casey’s father, former Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey Sr., was one of the country’s most high-profile anti-abortion Democrats. As governor, he signed a bill into law in 1989 that imposed a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion and required married women to notify their husbands. The law resulted in the landmark case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in which the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to uphold Roe while allowing state restrictions if the fetus was developed enough that it could survive outside the womb and the restrictions did not place an “undue burden” on women.

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