Senate Voting to Codify Roe v. Wade


Jordan Sekulow

May 11, 2022

5 min read

Pro Life



Today the Senate will vote to attempt to codify Roe v. Wade and to permanently make the right to abortion, with basically no restrictions, into federal law. This vote comes after the Supreme Court draft opinion was leaked and the Left used it to force a vote and this while at the same time launching an intimidation campaign against the Supreme Court Justices. Now, there is an all-out legislative attack to codify Roe.

We are fighting this on multiple fronts. Our Government Affairs team met with dozens of legislative offices this week and we have already distributed our legal analysis to all 100 Senate offices in preparation for this vote. 

ACLJ Director of Government Affairs Thann Bennett gave his insight into what he is hearing in Washington, D.C. and how this is likely to go:

This is one of those moments you sort of hate to be right. . . . Just now, the reporting from the Hill is that Joe Manchin has . . . said that he will vote no on the abortion procedural vote today. He said . . .  “It is not Roe v. Wade codification. It is an expansion, it wipes 500 state laws off the books, it expands abortion.” So, he is going to vote no on that. But the next part, this is literally what we’ve been talking about. . . he says, “I would vote for a Roe v. Wade codification if it was today. I was hopeful for that, but I found out yesterday in caucus that it wasn’t going to be. . . .” I am going to break it down very simply. That means if he were presented with the Collins/Murkowski language that . . . would codify Roe which they could do later today or next week, he would be in favor of that, and that would give them the 50 votes that they would need to clear cloture.

So, the fight is not over. This means that Senator Manchin (WV) will not support the Women’s Health Protection Act, but he likely would support codifying Roe v. Wade and that legislation does exist from two Republican Senators – Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Susan Collins (ME). So, if you can get Manchin, Murkowski, and Collins, then codifying Roe has a chance to be passed.

Thann summed up a potential scenario after the vote today:

One way it could play out is the vote could fail today, then next week they could vote for cloture to bring up the Collins/Murkowski bill and use Joe Manchin’s vote to change the legislative filibuster and send that bill over to the House. If it went to the House, it would certainly pass there and it would be on the President’s desk in a matter of days.

This all started with the leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion. Senator Marsha Blackburn (TN) joined Sekulow and explained how this is what the Left wanted:

I’ve got to tell you, I think what happened here, is as soon as it was leaked, and it is becoming more obvious it was a Democrat activist who leaked this and what they decided to do immediately was politicize this. They have moved forward immediately with calls to vote. . . . They showed up to protest with printed signs. They were prepared immediately to issue statements coming from Pelosi and Schumer and others of the Democrats. So, I think this is all part of their planning. They do want to use this to push for . . . they think this is going to motivate women and help them hang on to some of these seats by getting women to vote. Here is their problem. When women realize this does not ban abortion, this says that it would go back to the states. If indeed that ends up being what the Supreme Court decides, then the states would be setting the regulations and restrictions on abortion. So, it would be different in each state, but that is federalism. And look at all of the different things that we handle on a state-by-state basis. So they don’t have the support they thought they were going to get from women. . . . The Democrats have put themselves into this position where they have to move forward with this vote.

This is all linked. The leak of the draft opinion was done to fast track the process of codifying Roe, intimidate Justices, and pack the Court. ACLJ Senior Advisor for National Security and Foreign Policy and former Acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell explained how important it is for the ACLJ to take legal action on this issue:

Look, I am really concerned about the pattern that we keep seeing from bureaucrats and people of Washington when they don’t like something, they immediately go to partisan one-sided leaks of half the story. Then we have the entire media that just goes along and trumpets what the ruling party is saying. This is really dangerous for our country. I am so thankful that ACLJ is on top of this and able to immediately assemble a team to get ready and fight back. Again, we can talk about this on social media. . . but unless we take legal action and file in court and file Freedom of Information requests, we are just not going to get anywhere.

This will not be the last effort. As we defeat one, there will be another. We have to stay on our toes and be prepared to fight all the way up to the Supreme Court if necessary. Our legal team is working around the clock to defend life.

Join us as we are in the final hours of our Matching Moment. As we fight to defeat each and every piece of legislation put forward that threatens the unborn life, give us a fighting chance.

Today’s full Sekulow broadcast is complete with even further in-depth analysis of the vote to codify Roe in the U.S. Senate.

Watch the full broadcast below: