US Senate Rejects Mild Abortion Limits
The US Senate has rejected a bill that would have banned most abortions beyond 20 weeks. The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act had already been passed by the House of Representatives.
The bill was rejected in a 51-46 vote. Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska joined all but three Democrats in voting against the bill. Democrats voting for the bill were Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Joe Donnelly of Indiana.
President Donald Trump said it was “disappointing” that the bill was rejected. “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.” President Trump had said during a speech broadcast at the March for Life on January 19 that he wanted Congress to send the bill to his desk to sign into law.
The bill would have made it a crime for doctors to perform abortions after 20 weeks of gestation. Under the bill, those who break the law would face a fine, up to five years in prison, or both. The legislation contained exemptions in cases of rape, incest and a pregnant woman's life.
Republicans who spoke on the Senate floor pointed out that only six other countries: China, Singapore, North Korea, Vietnam, Canada, and the Netherlands have abortion laws as permissive as the US. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the bill reflected “a growing mainstream consensus that unborn children should not be subjected to elective abortions after 20 weeks.”
“It is long past time that we heed both science and common-sense morality and remove ourselves from this very undistinguished list,” he said of the countries that allow abortions later in a pregnancy.
The senators who voted against the bill include 14 who identify as Catholics, prompting calls that they should be excommunicated by their bishops.
Washington Examiner. January 29. Family & Life. February 5.