McConnell vows Senate will vote on 20-week abortion ban
© Francis Rivera

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat McConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Brent Budowsky: A plea to Alabama voters MORE pledged Friday that legislation to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy would get a vote in the upper chamber. 

"A bill that protects life after 20 weeks in the womb, a bill that in the past in the Senate couldn't even get a hearing, I promise you will be getting a vote," the Republican leader said in an address at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference in Washington. 

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Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration We are running out of time to protect Dreamers US trade deficit rises on record imports from China MORE (R-S.C.), who is running for president, introduced the legislation earlier this month. The House passed similar legislation last month. 

McConnell, who didn't specify a timeline for bringing up the measure, said the bill is "not only good news for pro-lifers, it's good news for the entire country." 

"It's about time we begin the process of putting America into the ranks of most other civilized countries by protecting unborn children after 20 weeks in the womb. It's high time we did that," he added. "I don't know about you but I think we're failing as a country if the best thing we can offer to a scared young mom to be is a referral to Planned Parenthood." 

While McConnell promised to bring a bill up for a vote, it faces an uphill path to clearing the Senate and would likely face a veto threat from President Obama 

The Senate bill so far has 45 co-sponsors — all Republicans. Missing from the list of supporters are Sens. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteExplaining Democratic victories: It’s gun violence, stupid Trump voter fraud panel member fights back against critics Dems plan to make gun control an issue in Nevada MORE (R-N.H.) and Mark KirkMark KirkHigh stakes as Trump heads to Hill Five things to watch for at Trump-Senate GOP meeting Giffords, Scalise highlight party differences on guns MORE (R-Ill.), both of whom are up for reelection in blue-leaning states, as well more moderate Republicans, including Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids Study: ObamaCare bills backed by Collins would lower premiums Right scrambles GOP budget strategy MORE (R-Maine.)

Senate Republicans are having to play defense on 24 Senate seats during next year's election, and a vote for the legislation could be used against vulnerable Republicans. 

Graham brushed aside the potential political fallout, telling reporters earlier this month: "Don’t get in politics if you don’t want to talk about things like this.”