Two Senate Republicans turned against the sanctity of life, not to mention the Party, to help the Democrats torpedo a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks forcing the bill to fail.
The ban earned the support of fifty-one senators but 60 were needed to keep the bill alive. Forty-seven senators voted against it including two Republicans.
The two who voted with the Democrats are the usual suspects, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Several Democrats, though, did cross the aisle for life including Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Bob Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana. Despite those defections, the vote was mostly split down party lines.
According to National Review, voting against the bill were several Democrats whose states when for Donald Trump in 2016:
Among the Democrats opposing the legislation were several from states that voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election: Jon Tester of Montana, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters of Michigan, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Doug Jones of Alabama, and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.
Also known as Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, the bill sought to make it illegal for a person to perform or attempt to perform an abortion after 20-weeks gestation of pregnancy. Transgressors would face fines and up to five years in prison. The legislation did include exemptions for rape victims however, but only if the woman received medical treatment or counseling at least 48 hours before the abortion.
March For Life President Jeanne Mancini noted that she and other pro-life activists are very disappointed in the outcome of the vote.
“While we are grateful that this was brought to a vote, it is disappointing that the U.S. Senate could not pass the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act today,” Mancini said.
President Trump also noted how disappointed he was:
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. 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.
As BizPacReview noted, another pro-life activist noted that the bill was not aimed at only protecting the life of the baby, but also of the mother.
“Research shows that a woman seeking an abortion at 20 weeks (five months) is 35 times more likely to die from an abortion than she was in the first trimester,” President of Americans United For Life Catherine Glenn Foster said in a statement, noting her organization’s disappointment over the failed vote.
Seventy-six percent of Americans want significant abortion restrictions, including making abortion illegal after three months of pregnancy, a recent poll showed. More than 60 percent of Americans are also in favor of banning abortions after 20 weeks in pregnancy and six in 10 Americans oppose using tax dollars to pay for abortions.
[Note: This post was written by Warner Todd Huston]