House Passes 20-Week Abortion Ban

House Passes 20-Week Abortion Ban
The House of Representatives adopted a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks Tuesday night for the second time in two years. The bill faces a steep uphill climb to get passed in the Senate.

The Republican-led House of Representatives voted 237-189 to adopt a bill that bans abortions after 20 weeks, but it’s very unlikely to get out of the GOP-led Senate, which will need 60 votes to get past cloture rules.

The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which was sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), bans all abortions after 20 weeks, but includes exceptions for rape, incest, or the health of the mother—all considered must-have provisions to clear the Supreme Court’s position after Roe v. Wade. It also does not criminalize the act of seeking an abortion after 20 weeks.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he would introduce a companion bill in the Senate “soon.” Pro-life activists were cheering the adoption of the “fetal pain” bill, which has been a top priority for several years.

"It’s past time for Congress to pass a nationwide law protecting unborn children from the unspeakable cruelty of late-term abortion," said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser.

Franks’ bill was nearly identical to one adopted by the GOP-controlled House in 2015. That bill also failed to get past the Senate, which still has a rule in place that allows a bill to be blocked until at least 60 senators agree to have a final vote on its passage.

President Donald Trump has said he would pass the measure if it ever arrived at his desk.

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