McConnell tees up vote on 20-week abortion ban
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is turning the Senate toward a fight over abortion next week.

McConnell moved to bring up a 20-week abortion ban, paving the way for a procedural vote expected on Monday.

“Now Congress has an opportunity to take a step forward. … I’m pleased to have filed cloture on this bill to protect unborn children who are capable of feeling pain. … And I look forward to voting for it early next week,” McConnell said.

The legislation, from GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), would make it illegal for any person to perform or attempt an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with the possible penalty of five years in prison, fines or both.

Republicans will need 60 votes to overcome a procedural hurdle before they can take up the bill.

With a 51-seat majority, they are expected to fall short. The bill has 45 co-sponsors — all Republicans.

The vote comes after President Trump urged the Senate to take up the abortion ban legislation.

“I call upon the Senate to pass this important law and send it to my desk for signing,” Trump said in his address to the March for Life, an annual march against abortion in Washington, D.C.

McConnell said last year that he would bring the bill up for a vote but didn’t specify when.

The legislation includes exceptions for rape if the woman received medical treatment or counseling at least 48 hours before the abortion or if she reported the rape to law enforcement.

It also includes an exception for pregnancies that result from rape or incest against a minor if it was reported to social services or law enforcement.

The House passed a similar bill largely along party lines last year.

Source: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/370613-mcconnell-tees-up-vote-on-20-week-abortion-bill

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