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House Passes Bill to Ban Abortion after 20 Weeks

(Washington Examiner) The House on Tuesday passed a bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks.

Washington Congress photo

Photo by amsfrank (CC)

The bill, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, would penalize medical providers who perform abortions after 20 weeks of gestation with up to five years in prison or fines, or both. The bill contains limited exceptions, including when a woman’s pregnancy puts her life at risk and in cases of rape or incest.

The legislation, which passed 237-189, has support from President Trump, who said in a statement of administration policy Monday that if it were to reach his desk his team would recommend he sign it into law.

RELATED: GOP Governor Signs Bill to Require Tax Payers to Fund Abortion

The bill, however, is likely to be defeated in the Senate, as it needs 60 votes for passage but Republicans hold only 52 seats. A similar piece of legislation met the same fate in 2015.

Before the House vote, Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., the bill’s sponsor, told the Washington Examiner that he thought it was time for the Senate to get rid of the legislative filibuster.

“There is a growing recognition that Democrats intend to change the rule as soon as they are in full power again anyways,” Franks said. He pointed to the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch as evidence that senators are open to changing it, as that confirmation required Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to nuke the filibuster on Supreme Court nominees.

“Those who said they would never change the rule voted to a person to do exactly that,” Franks said. “I think the senators are realizing that this rule has protected them from a long time from taking tough votes. The American people have had it way up to here on a gridlocked government that can’t address the issues of consequence that face this country…”

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