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In Charleston, Fairmont and Wheeling, anti-abortion West Virginians recently came out to thank Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., for opposing the destruction of the legislative filibuster. Manchin’s vote will determine so much more than Senate rules.

In a Congress narrowly controlled by pro-abortion rights Democrats, under a pro-abortion rights White House, countless lives and the future of our already deeply divided nation depend on it.

Many Americans, if they are familiar with the filibuster, know it as a rule that allows politicians to give hours-long speeches. But it is more than obscure procedure. Simply put, by requiring 60 votes to end debate on a given issue, the filibuster prevents the majority party from completely shutting out the voice of the minority — a crucial check.

As a candidate, President Joe Biden came out against the Hyde Amendment — the longstanding policy that blocks taxpayer money from funding abortions.

Without the filibuster, pro-abortion-rights Democrats could do away with the Hyde Amendment without a single vote from anti-abortion Republicans — with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking a tie.

This policy is deeply unpopular in West Virginia, where people believe it is important that their U.S. senators do what is right for the state, even if it means voting against his or her party.

Clearly, Manchin’s instincts were correct when, early on, he came out strongly against removing the filibuster.

So far, he shows no sign of flinching — but he will be under intense pressure from party leaders to change his stance, especially as time goes on.

That’s why it is so important that Manchin hears from his anti-abortion constituents. It’s why anti-abortion groups, like West Virginians for Life and Susan B. Anthony List, are glad to support and encourage him at this critical moment. Through a six-figure campaign of radio ads, digital ads and phone calls, in addition to the recent press tour, our grassroots supporters are showing their appreciation.

As Manchin said in a recent interview, speaking of friends back home: “If I can explain it to them, I can vote for it. If I can’t explain it, I can’t.”

If Manchin sticks to his principles, it will be one of his most heroic acts in the Senate. As long as he stands with anti-abortion West Virginians in Washington, we will continue to stand with him.

Marjorie Dannenfelser is the president of the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List.

Nicole Stacy grew up in Morgantown and is a senior writer at Susan B. Anthony List.

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