After a 6-3 Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade on Friday, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he is "deeply disappointed" in the ruling that struck down federal abortion protections.
"It has been the law of the land for nearly 50 years, and was understood to be settled precedent," Manchin, a Democrat, said in a statement on Twitter. "I trusted Justice [Neil] Gorsuch and Justice [Brett] Kavanaugh when they testified under oath that they also believed Roe v. Wade was settled legal precedent, and I am alarmed they chose to reject the stability the ruling has provided for two generations of Americans."
Manchin said he was raised Catholic and will always consider himself pro-life.
"But I have come to accept that my definition of pro-life may not be someone else's definition of pro-life," he said. "I believe that exceptions should be made in instances of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is in jeopardy. But let me be clear, I support legislation that would codify the rights Roe v. Wade previously protected.
"I am hopeful Democrats and Republicans will come together to put forward a piece of legislation that would do just that."
In a decision powered by its conservative majority, the court held that the "Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey [a 1992 Supreme Court case] are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives."
Friday's ruling upheld a Republican-backed Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks. The justices held that the Roe v. Wade decision that allowed abortions performed before a fetus would be viable outside the womb — between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy — was wrongly decided because the U.S. Constitution makes no specific mention of abortion rights.
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