Joe Manchin Undecided, Lisa Murkowski Says She Won't Back Abortion Bill

As the Senate prepares to hold a vote on codifying safeguards of Roe v. Wade on Wednesday, some senators have shared their thoughts a couple days early, including two key swing voters, Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

After Politico published a leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court stating the majority is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade's 1973 decision that made abortion legal throughout the nation, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced the caucus will hold a vote to codify a woman's right to an abortion in federal law with the Women's Health Protection Act (WHPA).

Murkowski said she will be voting "no," according to reports.

"Senator Murkowski does, indeed, want to codify Roe v. Wade, and preserve a woman's right to choose what's best for her own body. She voted against the Democrats' bill because it went beyond what's currently law," said Grace Jang, senior advisor on Murkowski's re-election campaign.

Other lawmakers have been more reserved about their stance. Manchin told NBC he was "undecided" on Wednesday's vote. Manchin is a key swing vote and he said he'll "wait and see" what Democrats say in their weekly lunches Tuesday before deciding.

As lawmakers announce their votes, there's a mostly clear divide between party lines.

Democratic Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia tweeted that he will vote "yes" on the legislation to codify Roe v. Wade.

Republican Senator Mitt Romney hasn't announced his vote as of yet, but released a statement last week, saying the Supreme Court's draft opinion is "a decision I support."

Schumer says senators' positions on abortion rights will be revealed to all Americans on Wednesday. "This week's vote is not an abstract exercise; this is as real and as high stakes as it gets," Schumer said. "Senate Republicans will no longer be able to hide from the horror they've unleashed upon women in America. We will see where every single senator stands."

abortion rally
As the Senate will vote on codifying safeguards of Roe v. Wade in the Women's Health Protection Act (WHPA) on Wednesday, some lawmakers shared their stances early. Above, supporters of abortion rights rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on May 7, 2022. Getty Images

On Saturday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in an interview with USA Today that a national abortion ban is "possible" if Roe v. Wade gets overturned and that the GOP stance is evident.

"With regard to the abortion issue, I think it's pretty clear where Senate Republicans stand," McConnell said. "And if and when the court makes a final decision, I expect everybody will be more definitive. But I don't think it's much secret where senator Republicans stand on that issue."

However, McConnell said that he would not get rid of the filibuster to pass legislation.

"I will never, never support smashing the legislative filibuster on this issue or any other," McConnell said. "Yet Democrats want to wreck our institutions over their fringe position that Americans do not share."

Newsweek reached out to Manchin and Murkowski for comment.

Correction: 05/13/22, 10:00 p.m. ET: The headline to this article has been corrected to specify that Senator Murkowski said she would not support Democrats' recent abortion-rights bill. Despite voting against the bill, she has publicly affirmed her support to codify Roe v. Wade.