UNEXPECTEDLY: Senate Democrats Fail to Advance Sweeping Abortion Bill.

The procedural vote to invoke cloture and advance the Women’s Health Protection Act failed in a 49-to-51 vote. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer chose to hold the vote despite the near certainty that Democrats would fail to meet the 60-vote threshold needed to break a Republican filibuster and advance the measure.

The largely symbolic vote came after a leaked majority draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization revealed that the Supreme Court could be poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, returning the question of abortion to the states.

“A vote on this legislation is not an abstract exercise. This is as urgent and real as it gets. We’ll vote to protect a women’s right to choose,” Schumer said last week, according to The Hill.

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) similarly told NPR on Tuesday that it’s “really important to have this vote to show where everyone stands.”

And now we know: “The most important thing about this vote is that we’ve got 49 Democrats on record supporting abortion up until birth. Remember that this November,” Kevin Downey, Jr. writes at the PJM mothership. The exception is Joe Manchin, who “came out against the measure ahead of the vote on Tuesday, saying the Women’s Health Protection Act is ‘not Roe v. Wade codification, it’s an expansion’ of abortion.”