Why Democrats won’t be able to codify Roe into law

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Hello – and TGIF.

Today’s edition: FDA limits use of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine due to rare blood clots. In Louisiana, a bill charging abortion with homicide gained ground in committee. But first…

Democrats to vote next week on codifying Roe, but effort doomed

Senate Democratic leaders have pledged to hold a vote next week to codify abortion rights into federal law.

This effort will surely fail.

But for Democrats, the largely symbolic vote has significance. In the wake of the leaked Supreme Court bill, the party wants to register senators and use lawmakers’ positions to galvanize the base – even though a similar vote took place a few months ago.

  • “Where are the people? Why is this important?” Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said in an interview. “Because it’s clearly going to be people making a choice in a few months about who will represent them and speak on their behalf. And we need to have a pro-choice Senate and a pro-choice House if we’re going to protect the rights of women.

Here’s why the measure is likely doomed: According to Senate procedure, he would need the support of 10 Republicans. Still, the Republican senator most likely to vote for the bill — Susan Collins (Maine) — voted against the law in February and yesterday said its position remained unchanged. Democrats could try to get rid of the filibuster, but it could be dangerous ground for the party. And even if they did, they might not have the voices to codify Roe vs. Wade.

The next vote comes as one leaked draft decision to spill Deer’Decades-old protections quickly turned the political landscape upside down. Republicans are still looking for the right message, while Democrats express outrage at the possibility that the procedure could be restricted in about half of the states within a few weeks.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.):

Collins’ Opposition boils down to his sight that the legislation does not offer sufficient protection to anti-abortion health care providers, my colleagues Felicia Sonmez and Mike DeBonis report.

“It does not protect the right of a Catholic hospital not to perform abortions, she says. “This right has been enshrined in law for a long time.”

Without naming Collins, Senate Majority Leader chuck schumer (DN.Y.) pushed back on the reasoning at a news conference announcing next week’s vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act.

  • “Some say this legislation would tell hospitals – some religious hospitals – to perform abortions,” he said yesterday. “That is simply not true. This bill simply gives providers the statutory right to provide abortion care without medically unnecessary restrictions. That is plain and simple. So this rumor is false.

Also note: There have been some adjustments to the bill since February, although the substance of the legislation remains intact. Legislation – drafted by the senator. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) – had a section dedicated to legislative fact finding, some of which included politically controversial language. But this part of the text has been deleted.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.):

Some Democratic lawmakers began calling for the filibuster to be eliminated soon after. Politics released the leaked draft.

But doing so in this case doesn’t seem particularly likely.

For one thing, Democrats probably don’t have the votes to change the abortion filibuster. Like my colleague Amber Phillips Remarks, Sense. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) and Kirsten Sinema (D-Arizona) blocked the efforts of the Democrats to eliminate the rule from voting rights legislation earlier this year. And it doesn’t look like they’ve changed their minds to overturn the rule requiring 60 votes to pass most laws.

Even though Democrats changed the rule, they may not have the votes to pass the codifying bill. deer by simple majority. Manchin, along with all House Republicans, opposed the bill when the Senate passed it in February.

  • Yesterday, Manchin was mum on his stance on the amended version of the bill. “I watch everything,” he told reporters, per Felicia and Mike. “You know, we have to bring the country together, okay? We just need to get back together.

And one more thing. A change to the filibuster rules of abortion law could backfire on Democrats. If Republicans win a Senate majority in November’s midterm, then they could use that decision to their advantage and work to push through a nationwide ban on abortion.

Schumer was asked if the party would seek to change the filibuster rules in legislation protecting access to abortion. He didn’t say one way or the other. “We will have the vote next week,” he said. “We’ll see where everyone is.”

Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.) said May 5 that the Senate would vote on legislation codifying abortion rights, but would not define procedural steps. (Video: The Washington Post)

FDA limits use of J&J vaccine due to rare blood clots

the Food and drug administration is limit the use Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine, saying the risk of a rare, life-threatening blood clot outweighs the benefits of the injection for most people, The Post’s Laurie McGinley and Carolyn Y. Johnson report.

Who can get shot now? The agency said only those who cannot obtain other vaccines because they are not accessible or clinically appropriate, or those who have refused to receive a different vaccine, should be immunized with J&J.

The vaccine has been associated with life-threatening blood clotting and bleeding syndrome. But those who have already been vaccinated need not worry because the disease usually occurs within one to two weeks of vaccination. There have been 60 confirmed cases, nine of which resulted in death, according to an updated analysis of security data through March 18.

The news is another setback for the J&J vaccine, which was once considered a game-changer because it is the only covid-19 vaccine where the initial regimen was a single shot. Delivery of the vaccine was briefly halted last year, and subsequently manufacturing and supply issues slowed its rollout.

There have been nearly 15 million deaths linked to covid-19, according to the WHO

The pandemic has resulted in nearly 15 million additional deaths worldwide, according to a new estimate speak World Health Organization. The figure includes those who died of covid-19 and others who died of other pandemic-related causes, such as healthcare shortages when the virus exploded, The Post’s Katie Berger and Niha Masih write.

The WHO definition of excess deaths: “The difference between the number of deaths that have occurred and the number that would be expected in the absence of the pandemic based on data from previous years.”

Much of the excess deaths were concentrated in Southeast Asia, Europe and the Americas. More than two-thirds occurred in 10 countries, including the United States. It comes as the United States approaches one million deaths from the coronavirus – a figure that does not include those who died because they were unable to access treatment.

Why excess deaths matter: The figures help experts and politicians get a better look at the toll of the pandemic as they count those who died because they did not receive treatment for acute emergencies, chronic illnesses or health conditions behaviors exacerbated by the pandemic.

Watch Louisiana Republicans for latest anti-abortion legislation

A committee of Louisiana House advanced an invoice this week classify abortion as homicide and allow prosecutors to criminally charge patients, my colleague Caroline Kitchener reports.

The bill is a new twist on anti-abortion legislation, going a step further than Republicans have done in the past. They have generally been reluctant to punish patients, instead focusing on abortion providers and others who help facilitate the procedure. Experts say the bill could potentially restrict in vitro fertilization and emergency contraception since it would grant constitutional rights to a person “from the moment of fertilization.”

Those who spoke in favor of the bill seemed energized, with a lawyer who helped draft the bill specifically citing the leaked draft ruling quashing deer.

The legislation is expected to pass through the entire Republican-led House and Senate, before then heading to the Democratic party’s office. Governor John Bel Edwards, who has supported anti-abortion legislation in the past.

  • “For the movement’s lawmakers, their agenda is to stop abortion,” said Mary Ziegler, visiting professor at Harvard Law School, specializing in the history of abortion law. “When there is a conflict between punishing pregnant women and stopping abortion, it is clear what they will do.”

Meanwhile … Attorney General Merrick Garland said the Department of Justice “would address appropriate next steps” should the abortion law change.

He said the department was “strongly committed to defending the right to abortion,” and reminded reporters that the leaked draft was not final. Yet it was not immediately clear what steps the Justice Department could take to ensure women still have access to abortion, our Post the policy now colleagues write.

Thanks for reading! See you Monday.

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