Senate Rejects Bill to Ban Abortions After 20 Weeks

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Monday evening rejected legislation designed to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

But the bill succeeded at putting vulnerable Democrats on the record on that issue, which was one of the Republicans’ goals. The GOP is defending its 51-49 majority in the midterm elections.

Three Democratic-senators up for re-election in conservative states voted to advance the legislation. They are Sens. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted with other Democrats to reject it.

The vote was 51-46, short of the 60-vote threshold to advance the bill.

The House passed identical legislation in October.

In a statement released Monday night, President Trump said, “Recently, when I addressed the 45th annual March for Life, I called on the Senate to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, important legislation that would protect our most vulnerable.

“It is disappointing that despite support from a bipartisan majority of U.S. Senators, this bill was blocked from further consideration,” the president continued. “Scientific studies have demonstrated that babies in the womb feel pain at twenty weeks.  The vote by the Senate rejects scientific fact and puts the United States out of the mainstream in the family of nations, in which only 7 out of 198 nations, including China and North Korea, allow elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.  We must defend those who cannot defend themselves.  I urge the Senate to reconsider its decision and pass legislation that will celebrate, cherish, and protect life.”

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