Chuck Schumer: We’re not going to let people be intimidated by fear
Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat, has said he will not allow his Democratic colleagues to “dramatically change” their party’s position on a controversial anti-abortion bill in the Senate, after it was revealed they have not met with a single woman who would have been affected by the bill.
Mr Schumer said he was “determined to stop” a bill that he believes would “allow a woman to be punished for exercising her right to terminate her pregnancy”.
“We’re not changing our position,” he told reporters in New York on Monday.
“We are not going back to the days when people would not have the right to end their pregnancies, but I’m determined to stop it,” he added.
In recent weeks, Democrats have taken to calling the bill the “Biden bill”, referring to President Joe Biden who has introduced the legislation.
However, the Senate is set to begin debating the bill on Tuesday, with a final vote expected on Wednesday.
Democrats, including Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Nancy Pelosi, have expressed reservations about the legislation, saying it would force women to undergo unnecessary procedures, including elective abortion.
Mr Biden is also pushing for the bill to be considered as a standalone bill, rather than in conjunction with the GOP-controlled House of Representatives’ attempt to pass a similar bill.
Republican Senators, including Mr Ryan, have said the legislation should not go to a conference committee.
“This is a bill with bipartisan support, and we will work with the Republican conference to get it to the president’s desk as soon as possible,” Mr Ryan said.
Republican Senator Tom Cotton, who has pushed for the legislation to be moved from the Senate floor, said it was “absolutely imperative” that Mr Biden “get it passed”.
The Biden bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks, but women would still be able to have an abortion if they can prove it was the result of rape, incest, fetal abnormality or threats to their health.
It would also ban abortions at 20 weeks if the mother’s life was in danger and if she gave birth after 20 minutes.
Under the bill, the US Supreme Court would be required to review the legality of the procedure.
But it would also require states to allow abortion at any stage of pregnancy and provide exceptions for rape, when the pregnancy is a result of an assault or sexual assault.
The legislation would also allow states to ban abortions on the grounds of rape and incest, if the pregnancy result from rape or incest.