Senate Democrats Blast Late-Term Abortion Ban After House Passage

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 19, 2013   |   2:00PM   |   Washington, DC

Most Americans want a ban on late-term abortions, but Senate Democrats are not among them.

Members of the Democratic caucus took to the Senate floor during speeches today to condemn House passage of a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The called a ban on abortions up to the day of birth an “outrage” and made claims that stopping abortions after viability was a partisan move.

From The Hill:

“The bill that they passed yesterday is a nonstarter in the Senate, and it’s a nonstarter with the majority women,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said on the floor Wednesday. “It was a charade to appeal to a dwindling base, but it’s a charade that will end here today.”

Murray joined Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) in criticizing House Republicans for thinking they should make healthcare decisions for women.

“This House Republican bill that passed yesterday is a frontal assault on women’s health,” Boxer said. “They’re back in full-force with an even more extreme anti-choice and anti-women agenda.”

Murray said that the House bill would take the nation backward 40 years — when the Supreme Court decided women have the right to make their own healthcare decisions in the Roe v. Wade case. She added that Republicans were politically motivated in taking the vote.

“They’ve shown this isn’t about what’s best for women,” Murray said. “It’s about political calculations and appeasing the far right.”



Now that the House of Representatives has passed the bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, pro-life advocates and the bill’s sponsor are challenging pro-abortion Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid to allow a vote in the Senate.

Rep. Trent Franks, the Arizona Republican, is hopeful but realistic about the slim chances of a Senate vote.

“If Harry Reid somehow had an open moment and he just looked at the situation for what it was . . . and you know, stranger things have happened,” he muses.

“Once in a while, a person finds his humanity in a way that astounds his contemporaries,” Franks adds. “And if it did happen, I think a vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate today would be very close. This might actually pass.”

Should the Senate somehow vote on the 20-week abortion ban and pass it, Franks knows pro-abortion President Barack Obama will make good on his veto threat.

The vote for the bill broke down on mostly partisan lines with Republicans supporting the ban on late-term abortions and Democrats opposing it. The House approved the bill on a 228-196 vote with 6 Democrats voting for the bill and 6 Republicans voting against it.

A recent national poll by The Polling Company found that, after being informed that there is scientific evidence that unborn children are capable of feeling pain at least by 20 weeks, 64% would support a law banning abortion after 20 weeks, unless the mother’s life was in danger.   Only 30% said they would oppose such a law.

During the hearing, former abortion practitioner Anthony Levatino told members of the committee the gruesome details of his former abortion practice and how he became pro-life following the tragic automobile accident of his child.

Another bombshell dropped during the hearing came from Dr. Maureen Condic, who is Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Utah School of Medicine. She testified that the unborn child is capable of reacting to pain as early as 8-10 weeks. This is when most abortions in America take place.

The committee also saw graphic pictures of babies who were killed by Douglas Karpen, who is considered the second Kermit Gosnell.

The late-term abortion ban would allow abortion after 20 weeks post-fertilization if the mother’s life is endangered, or in cases of rape and incest reported prior to the abortion to appropriate authorities.

H.R. 1797 contains congressional findings of fact regarding the medical evidence that unborn children experience pain at least by 20 weeks “post-fertilization age,” or the start of the sixth month.