A mostly symbolic vote. The US Senate failed on Wednesday, May 11, to adopt a law guaranteeing access to abortion throughout the country, at a time when this right is strongly threatened by an upcoming decision from the Supreme Court. The result was predictable because the Democrats do not have the 60 votes out of 100 necessary to advance on this text. But it is part of a larger fight by progressives to try to protect the right to abortion.

“For the first time in 50 years, a conservative majority, an extreme majority of the Supreme Court is about to decree that women have no control over their own bodies”, alerted, in a serious tone, the leader of the Senate Democrats Chuck Schumer just before the vote. Republicans opposed the bill en bloc. They accuse the Democrats, through their leader Mitch McConnell, of wanting to propose “abortions on demand”.

“Opposing American Women’s Rights”

The US president blasted the outcome of the vote. “Republicans in Congress – none of whom voted for this bill – have chosen to oppose the right of American women to make the most personal decisions about their bodies, their families and their lives.”denounced Joe Biden in a press release.

The Democratic Party wanted to organize this vote after the extraordinary leak, on May 2, of a draft decision from the Supreme Court, according to which the highest American court was preparing to cancel access to abortion. If the Supreme Court were to reverse the case law which has founded the right to abortion in the United States since 1973, each State would be free to prohibit or authorize it. Twenty conservative states have already promised to make it illegal.

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