As expected: Schumer's dumb abortion bill goes down in flames, 49/51

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Congrats to this visionary leader on his masterstroke, proving that Democrats couldn’t get a “no restrictions” abortion bill through even if the filibuster were gone.

There’s a solid morale booster for pro-choicers before the midterms.

Someday I’ll figure out what the point of this exercise was but that day is not today. Question: When a vote goes 49/51, which side is more likely to be the “extreme” one?

Harris was there today for reasons that are unclear to me. They needed 60 votes to advance the bill, not 50. Which tie did she think she was going to break?

The only consolation for Dems this afternoon is that Republicans remain palpably nervous about a backlash at the polls if Roe goes down. Remember yesterday’s post about Sean Hannity reassuring Fox viewers that abortion won’t be going anywhere even if the 50-year dream of dumping Roe comes true? Surreally, he did it again last night:

Ron Johnson is also taking the “no biggie” line on the prospect of social conservatives finally securing a glorious legal victory after decades of trying:

Gosh, a cynic might think these guys aren’t overjoyed to have Roe finally off the books.

Honestly, the polling’s not that bad. Admittedly, it’s very, very bad when you ask people whether Congress should legalize abortion, ban it, or leave it to the states, as Monmouth did today:

But when asked how much a national ban would bother them, they’re surprisingly chill:

And when asked how much it’d bother them to see abortion banned in certain states, they’re even chiller:

Where things start to turn ugly is the thought of states charging a woman or her doctor with murder for participating in an abortion. Sixty percent told Monmouth that would bother them “a lot.” And yet it’s already under consideration in Louisiana.

The polling also turns ugly for the GOP once Americans are asked about expanding the rationale of Alito’s draft opinion, that unwritten rights related to sexual privacy aren’t protected by the Constitution unless they’re deeply rooted in American history, to rights beside abortion. YouGov asked about it and found support for legal gay marriage at 58/26, with fewer than half of Republicans willing to say that it should be illegal. As to whether contraception should be legal, there’s near-unanimity and no partisan gap at all. Eighty-six percent of Dems and 85 percent of Republicans and independents say yes. Asked more specifically whether access to contraception should remain a constitutionally protected right, 74 percent say yes.

All of which makes this issue *potentially* easy for the GOP to message. “It doesn’t matter whether the Court finds there’s no right to gay marriage or contraception,” they might say. “All that would do is return those matters to the states. And no state government is going to ban either.”

I think they’d feel comfortable saying that about contraception. Saying it to a socially conservative base about gay marriage would be tricker.

But Republicans aren’t the only party wrestling with new problems created by a post-Roe legal regime. Liberals everywhere are gung ho to turn their states into abortion mills serving pro-choice women who live in red states. There’s just one catch: Who’s paying for it?

Groups that operate clinics and run abortion access funds warn that they’ll need more money, more providers and more space to help care for the influx of people who will cross state lines to seek abortions. That means states hoping to protect access need to move fast to expand provider networks and deliver the financial support needed…

“Progressive states need to step up, provide funding and support the clinic infrastructure in their own states,” said Elizabeth Nash, interim associate director of state issues at the Guttmacher Institute, in an interview. “Because those clinics are already feeling the impact of Texas, and they’re going to feel the impact of other states’ abortion laws as well.”

The cost of each out-of-state abortion can balloon quickly, the head of the National Abortion Federation told Politico: “It’s not just a gas card or a plane ticket — it’s a hotel stay, it’s gift cards for food, it’s helping them find child care so that they can even possibly travel out of state.” Enjoy the coming tax hikes, blue-staters.

Corporate America is nervous too. Most have kept their heads down about controversies like Florida’s “don’t say gay” bill knowing that that’s just one state and can be safely ignored. Multiple states moving to severely restrict or even outright ban abortion can’t be ignored, though. Businesses will have to choose sides in the hottest culture war of all:

Citigroup has now been joined by Amazon, Apple, Yelp, Match Group, Tesla and Levi Strauss & Company, all which have said they will offer travel assistance to employees who are in states that restrict abortions. Insiders at JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs have told news outlets they too are considering similar policies.

“I expect there will be a significant shift and the most leading companies are going to recognize that they need to protect the healthcare of their employees,” said Shelley Alpern, director of shareholder advocacy at Rhia Ventures. “Most companies would like to avoid taking a public stance on this issue because it’s so controversial, but there are higher risks for companies when they don’t protect their employees’ healthcare access.”

If companies think they can duck out of this debate simply by covering costs for out-of-state abortions by their employees and being done with it, they’re kidding themselves. Marco Rubio has already moved to counter that by introducing a bill that would make those expenses non-deductible and some Texas legislators want to pass a law that would bar the state from transacting with any company that adopts the policy. That would include a lot of businesses per the excerpt above. Meanwhile, progressives will naturally begin pressuring companies to pull out of anti-abortion states entirely in hopes that the resulting economic pain will cause those states to revisit their abortion laws.

Wrenching times ahead for Americans. But lots of juicy blog content!

I’ll leave you with Manchin expressing his sense of betrayal today that Republican SCOTUS nominees might now overturn Roe after acknowledging it as the law of the land during their confirmation hearings. How old are you, Joe?