Right-wing Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia confirmed that he is opposed to the Women\u0026#039;s Health Protection Act just hours before a planned Wednesday vote on the legislation, spoiling his party\u0026#039;s attempt to codify abortion rights into federal law before the U.S. Supreme Court\u0026#039;s right-wing majority has a chance to overturn Roe v. Wade.\r\n\r\n\u0022This is unacceptable,\u0022 the hosts of a progressive podcast focused on Appalachia tweeted in response.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAccording to CNN chief congressional correspondent Manu Raju, Manchin endorsed \u0022a codification of Roe\u0022 but said the Women\u0026#039;s Health Protection Act (WHPA) \u0022is too broad\u0022 and \u0022goes too far.\u0022\r\n\r\nManchin previously helped kill the House-passed bill—which would enshrine patients\u0026#039; right to receive legal and safe abortions and healthcare professionals\u0026#039; right to provide them—in February, joining all Senate Republicans present to block the measure before it even reached the floor.\r\n\r\nLast week\u0026#039;s publication of Justice Samuel Alito\u0026#039;s leaked draft opinion revealed that the high court\u0026#039;s right-wing majority is set to strike down Roe. If this ruling is finalized, abortion could soon be outlawed in more than half the country, and Republican lawmakers have signaled their intention to pursue a federal six-week ban if they retake Congress and the White House.\r\n\r\nDespite this imminent threat to bodily autonomy, Manchin doubled down on his defense of the filibuster less than 24 hours after Alito\u0026#039;s draft ruling was made public. The West Virginia Democrat characterized the anti-democratic rule that requires 60 votes to advance most legislation—therefore giving veto power to the minority party in a closely divided upper chamber—as \u0022the only protection we have in democracy.\u0022\r\n\r\nAfter they helped prevent debate on the WHPA in February, Republican Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) unveiled the Reproductive Choice Act, an opposing bill that would codify Roe while permitting states to restrict abortions after fetal viability.\r\n\r\nEven if Manchin were to support their watered-down alternative or write his own bill, such legislation would also fall victim to the filibuster unless it garners 60 votes—a virtual impossibility given the Republican Party\u0026#039;s growing attacks on reproductive freedom.\r\n\r\nAs Jordan Zakarin from More Perfect Union pointed out on social media, Manchin made the same empty promise about voting rights, and no federal legislation to counteract the GOP\u0026#039;s nationwide assault on ballot access has materialized.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWhen he teed up Wednesday\u0026#039;s vote on a modified version of the WHPA, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) failed to mention filibuster reform.\r\n\r\nEliminating or weakening the 60-vote rule would require the support of the entire Senate Democratic Caucus—including Manchin and fellow conservative Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona—and Vice President Kamala Harris. It remains a necessary prerequisite to passing the WHPA and a host of other languishing bills already approved by House Democrats.\r\n\r\nHouse lawmakers from the Progressive, Pro-Choice, and Democratic Women\u0026#039;s caucuses plan to march to the Senate chamber ahead of Wednesday\u0026#039;s vote on the WHPA.