May 4, 2022 Media

KDVR: DeGette urges bill to protect abortion rights

DENVER (KDVR) — After this week’s bombshell leak of the Supreme Court opinion signaling an overturn of Roe v. Wade, lawmakers in Washington are looking for other solutions to protect abortion rights.

One of Colorado’s members of Congress is calling for action on a measure that could preserve abortion nationally, but there are some major roadblocks ahead to this measure.
The main issue is that Democrats need enough support in the Senate but if previous votes are any indication, that support will be hard to come by.

Congresswoman Diana DeGette said she and Democrats on Capitol Hill are getting plans together to fight for abortion rights, starting with a call to get the Senate to pass a measure called the Women’s Health Protection Act.

“The first pro-choice legislation to ever pass in the U.S. House of Representatives, to codify Roe vs. Wade, and to say as a nation: We believe every woman should be able to have the healthcare that she needs. But then, the bill went to the Senate.”

And it died there.

Senators voted 48-46 with West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin crossing the aisle to join Republicans on the matter. DeGette is asking lawmakers in the other chamber to take it up again, this time hoping for the vote of two Republican senators — Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine. Both have expressed a break in confidence in the court following the reveal of the draft opinion.

“Senator Collins and Senator Murkowski at that time said they would not support that bill even though it did put Roe into statute. I hope those two senators, Collins and Murkowski, now realize that we are playing for real now. That really, what’s gonna happen with this Supreme Court decision is millions of women are going to lose their right to an abortion,” DeGette said.

Anti-abortion groups here at home are hoping the national effort continues to stall.

“Local control is actually a better option because that is what is closest to what the people want and where they have the strongest voice to be heard. So here in Colorado, it’s an uphill battle for the pro-life movement, but we are not discouraged and we are not deterred,” said Nicole Hunt, a spokesperson for Focus on the Family.

DeGette and Democrats are also calling for voters to head to the polls this year, but Democrats face an uphill battle in that fight as well.