BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The United States House of Representatives narrowly passed a bill in September to codify parts of Roe v. Wade into federal law.

However, the legislation never advanced in the Senate as lawmakers failed to break a filibuster. The Senate is expected again to try to legalize abortion rights this week but U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins is not optimistic.

"The prospects for its passage in the Senate are probably not good unless something dramatically changes," Higgins said.

The issue is back in the forefront last week due to a leaked draft majority opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade.

"There shouldn't be a conflict on this," Higgins said. "The Supreme Court justices that would presumably be a part of this all testified at their confirmation hearings before the Senate that they viewed Roe v. Wade as settled precedent, settled law. What's changed? It's been the law for 50 years."

Higgins on Monday expressed a similar sentiment as moderate Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that conservative judges, specifically Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, appear to have misled the public during their confirmation hearings. The congressman also took issue with the fact the abortion rights debate is even before lawmakers at this point in history.

"A bunch of politicians in Washington should not be making these decisions," Higgins said. "They're not qualified. You need medical professionals in consultation with the women. That's where that should stand."

Meanwhile, Higgins' home state of New York is positioning itself as a sanctuary state for women who are seeking abortions. In order to do so, it will likely require increased funding as soon as this year.

"These are already federal programs that have a significant federal funding piece, about 50%, so certainly the federal government is and will continue to participate in helping to resolve this issue whatever happens," Higgins said.

The congressman points out abortions are at a 50-year low. He believes it's because of the Affordable Care Act increasing access to low-cost or free contraception.

Higgins said those are the kinds of solutions the government should continue to review.

"Why can't we find common ground toward the goal of making abortion legal, rare and safe," he said.