A bill failed to pass insenate that would criminalize abortions after 20 weeks on Monday, January 29th,2018. This bill was titled the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. OnMonday, it needed 60 votes to passed, but it failed 51-46. The bill has acouple exceptions such as for people where the life is at risk or in the caseof rape or incest.
The bill was originally passed by the House ofRepresentatives in October with a vote of 237 to 189. There have been otherattempts under Barack Obama’s presidency in 2013 and 2015 but also failed.Opponents of the bill oppose it because they say it is unconstitutional andviolate women’s rights. According to Democratic Senator Patty Murray, “I opposethe fact that we are still voting on whether women and doctors are bestequipped to make health care decisions — or politicians here in DC”. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren adds to thissaying that the ban is “part of a broad and sustained assault by Republicanpoliticians on women’s rights to make decisions about their own bodies.”Republican Senator, Lindsey Graham says that “It’s just a matter of time thatwe’ll win the day, because it just makes so much common sense”. The support forthe bill is largely from Republicans, while the opposition is mainlydemocratic.
Along with this, Trump’s administration has supported the bill. Despite this, two republicans voted again thelaw and three democrats voted for the law. Along with this Republican Senator Thom Tillissays that “The life of the unborn is a precious life, and we as members of the UnitedStates Senate and the U.S. Congress are tasked with making sure we protect all livesin America”.
Instead of passing the ban at a national level, some states are passingit on the state level instead. Opinions around abortion are changing and Pollingby the Pew Research Center showed that in 2017 57% of Americans said abortion shouldbe legal in all or most cases, however, 71% of conservative Republicans said abortionshould be illegal in all or most cases. Along with this only 1.
2% of abortions areperformed after 21 weeks of pregnancy. Therefore this law would only affect a smallpercent of abortions.