House Passes 20-Week Abortion Ban

But measure stands zero chance in the Senate
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2013 6:26 PM CDT
House Passes 20-Week Abortion Ban
Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., one of the bill's sponsors.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

House Republicans got to make their stand against abortion today—they passed a bill that would outlaw the procedure nationally after 20 weeks, reports the AP. The final vote was 228-196 and almost entirely along party lines. (Six Democrats and six Republicans bucked their respective parties on the vote.) The measure is going nowhere in the Senate, and the White House has promised a veto even if it somehow did, but social conservatives hailed the vote as a big win—"the most important pro-life bill to be considered by the US Congress in the last 10 years," says the president of Concerned Women for America.

Nancy Pelosi, on the other hand, called it "yet another Republican attempt to endanger women." Proponents including sponsor Trent Franks of Arizona argue that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks, thus making the cutoff essential. (Another proponent made that case in unusual fashion yesterday.) Backers say they were emboldened this year by the murder trial of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell. (More abortion stories.)

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