In a not particularly surprising turn of events, the Senate failed to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) on Wednesday. The act would have codified the right to an abortion into law that otherwise had been covered under the Roe v. Wade decision. The usual suspects are the cause for it’s failure, with all Republicans voting against the measure as well as That One Fucking Guy Joe Manchin claiming that the bill goes too far. The act failed to reach the 60 vote threshold, once again reiterating the need to nuke the filibuster (before the GOP gets the chance).
Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, who are ostensibly Pro-Choice, voted down the measure claiming it was too expansive. Their opposition appeared to come from a concern for religious organizations being forced to cover abortions and other reproductive procedures. Collins has pledged to continue to work with colleagues, favoring the Reproductive Choice Act (RCA), which would allow states the ability to restrict abortions of viable fetuses except in life or death situations. It would also protect health care providers who refused to cover abortions on religious grounds.
This alternative plan, of course, would not pass in any situation. It’d run into the same problems even if it got Collins, Murkowski, and Manchin on board. It’s smoke and mirrors. We are now at the point where the more extreme a Republican candidate’s rhetoric is, the more popular they are. No compromise can exist. The filibuster needs to go. There’s no middle road that will get more votes on the Republican side. They try to pass this, it fails and then Collins and Murkowski can stick their hands in their pockets and say “Well! We tried. But we assure that we’re Pro-Choice!”
A shaken Vice President Harris spoke after the vote laying out what we already know; saying to the press that an overwhelming majority of the country likes the world under Roe v. Wade and that the Senate is not remotely where the rest of the country is on the issue. She reiterated that we must, we must, elect pro-choice leaders at the local, state, and federal levels. And while this is true, we very clearly cannot rely on just what people say and focus on what they do. Collins and Murkowski can say they’re Pro-Choice all they want but at the end of the day they’ve made some awful votes that suggest otherwise.
It’s frustrating to once again hear that we must come out in massive numbers to protect what we already have. It has been a slog, especially given how easy the legislative agenda could be if the filibuster (or perhaps, more accurately, the threaten to filibuster nobody actually filibusters anymore) was gone. But it is what we must do.
Janet Yellen, US Secretary of the Treasury, speaking before the Senate Banking Committee made it clear that the economic effects of not protecting these rights would have severely damaging effects on the economy and set women back decades. These people, on some level, know they’re on the wrong side of history but they’re pretty well intent on dragging everyone back, kicking and screaming, into the bad old days.
Protests are being planned for Saturday around the country, with the largest one being held in Washington, D.C. Check out this website to see if there’s one in your area if you think you can make it.
Welcome to Thursday! Please be excellent to each other in the comments. The Mayor McSquirrel Rule remains in effect. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, if you have not been vaccinated please consider finding time to get an appointment. If you have had only one dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, do not forget about the second dose! THIRD DOSES are now available for anyone over the age of 18! You can get any type of shot you like, provided you have already been double vaccinated. Even if you are vaccinated, please continue to maintain social distancing measures, wear masks in public areas in accordance with CDC guidelines in regard to your own vaccination status. EVEN VACCINATED INDIVIDUALS CAN STILL GET AND SPREAD IT.