The Senate on Wednesday rejected a GOP-led effort to overturn a recently adopted Veterans Affairs rule that allows the department to provide abortions if the health or life of the veteran is in danger, or when the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest.
The resolution authored by Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville failed 48-51. GOP Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine crossed party lines, joining Democrats in defending the administration’s rule. One Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia voted with most of the Republicans.
The Senate vote comes at a time of heightened attention to abortion access in the US. Following the Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe v. Wade last year, states across the country have passed law restricting access to abortion and a high-profile legal battle is now playing out over medication abortion.
Ahead of the vote, President Joe Biden vowed to veto the resolution if the rule was overturned.
“The VA’s policy is consistent with my longstanding support of the Hyde Amendment and my opposition to using federal funds for abortions, expect when the life, or health of the mother would be endangered, or when the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest,” Collins said in a statement to CNN.
The Hyde Amendment blocks federal funding for most abortions, except in cases of rape, incest or when the woman’s life is in danger.