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US Senate becomes abortion rights battleground

House Democrats March Into Senate to Demand Abortion-Rights Vote

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 23: Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) rubs his eyes as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) questions U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, March 23, 2022 in Washington, DC. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Joe Biden's pick to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court, would become the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court if confirmed. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Dozens of Progressive House Democrats and aides marched to the Senate side of the Capitol Wednesday to demand senators pass legislation to put abortion rights into federal law.

(Bloomberg) —

Chanting “my body, my decision,” the group, led by Representative Pramila Jayapal of Washington, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts walked through the Senate hallways and entered the chamber about an hour before  the Senate began a vote on whether to advance abortion-rights legislation.

Extra Capitol police rushed to the scene to maintain order.

Senate Democrats are staging the procedural vote even though they won’t be able to muster the 60 needed to overcome an expected Republican filibuster. That means the legislation won’t be considered.

Omar said the march was organized to emphasize to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer that he needs to continue looking for ways to pass an abortion-rights bill.

“It is frustrating that we are going to have generations in this country that are going to have less freedom than the generations before them. It’s usually the other way around,” she said in an interview.

Capitol Police sent about a dozen extra officers to monitor the protest but took no action. The lawmakers and aides took up seats along the perimeter of the Senate listened quietly as Schumer spoke about the upcoming vote. Many of them left afterward.

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.
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