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Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., will be opposing a Democratic abortion bill when it is up for a procedural vote Wednesday afternoon, stating that it is too broad for his liking.
Manchin said that while he would vote for a bill that would legalize abortion on the federal level, the bill before the Senate now “is not what I was hoping for and what I expected” because it goes too far.
“I was hopeful that the Democratic Party having control of the agenda would put a piece of legislation forward that would codify Roe v. Wade,” Manchin said, stating that 70% of the American people want this.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., questions HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra during the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies hearing on the FY2023 Funding Request and Budget Justification for the Department of Health and Human Services, in Dirksen Building on Wednesday, May 4, 2022. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
“To me, that would be the reasonable, rational thing to do. The bill we have today to vote on, Women’s Health Protection Act … make no mistake, it is not Roe v. Wade codification, it is an expansion. It wipes 500–500 state laws off the books. It expands abortion.”
Manchin lamented that the bill that he and his colleagues will be voting on goes too far on an issue that is “extremely political” and divisive.
“We should not be dividing this country further than we’re already divided,” he said. “And it’s really the politics of Congress that’s dividing the country. It’s not the people. They’re telling us what they want. And it’s just disappointing that we’re going to be voting on a piece of legislation which I will not vote for today. But I would vote for Roe v. Wade codification if it was today, I was hopeful for that. But I found out yesterday in caucus that wasn’t going to be.”
When asked why he will not change his position on the matter, Manchin said, “I’ve been pro-life all my life. I believe strongly in my religion,” while adding that he does believe in exceptions for cases such as rape and incest, and supports abortion rights consistent with Roe v. Wade because it’s been “the law of this land.”
“Maybe my pro-life might not be someone else’s pro-life, but I know how I feel,” he said. “Life is – it’s a gift.”