Dems block 20-week abortion ban

Democrats blocked a bill on Monday that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks, a blow to anti-abortion groups that considered its passage a top priority for Congress in 2018.

The bill, authored by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), was unable to get the 60 votes necessary to end a filibuster and proceed to a vote, meaning the bill is effectively dead in the upper chamber.

Graham’s bill had little chance of passing the Senate, where Republicans hold a slim 51-49 majority. It sailed through the House on a party-line vote, 237-189, in October.

Most Democrats voted against the bill Monday, except for Sens. Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Bob Casey (Pa.), all who are facing tough reelection bids in November.

The legislation would make it illegal for any person to perform or attempt an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with the possible penalty of five years in prison, fines or both. A woman seeking an abortion would not be penalized.

About 20 states already have similar bans. Republicans and anti-abortion activists argue the bill is necessary because advances in science and medicine make it possible for babies born prematurely to survive earlier than in previous years.

President Trump, speaking at the March for Life earlier this month, had urged the Senate to pass the bill, telling the “pro-life” movement “we are with you all the way.”

%d bloggers like this: