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.