Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, who has previously described himself as a “pro-life Democrat,” said Tuesday he plans to support an abortion rights bill that is slated to come to the floor Wednesday.
Casey cited the recent Supreme Court leak of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft majority decision indicating the high court's plans to overturn Roe v. Wade. Casey argued that “the circumstances around the entire debate on abortion have changed” since the upper chamber last voted on the Women’s Health Protection Act.
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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?" he said in a statement. “During my time in public office, I have never voted for, nor do I support, such a ban.”
The vote on Wednesday is expected to fall short of the 60 votes needed to end the debate on the abortion bill, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) vowing to continue to push for action to codify the 1973 landmark decision despite its expected failure.
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The Senate voted in February on similar legislation, which failed when Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) joined Republicans in rejecting the measure.
Casey joined Democrats in backing the Women’s Health Protection Act earlier this year, but he has voiced support for the Hyde Amendment, an annual policy rider that bans federal funding from being used for abortions. The Pennsylvania senator also voted in favor of a federal ban on abortion after 20 weeks.