GOP senators demand vote on banning abortions after 20 weeks

Republican senators are demanding a vote on legislation that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks, citing a new study that says fetuses can feel pain at that point in their development. 

Thirty-three senators led by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) asked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to bring Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-S.C.) abortion bill to the Senate floor for a vote. The bill, also known as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy except in cases of rape, incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.

ADVERTISEMENT
In the letter to Reid, the senators cited a study from the research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List, a group that opposes abortion. The report calls on the U.S. to end abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, a move it said would be in line with international norms.

“It is time that we in Congress act to bring the United States out of the fringe and closer to international norms on late abortions,” the senators wrote in their letter.

Thirteen states have already enacted bans on abortions after 20-weeks, and according to polls, at least a plurality of people in the United States support the idea.

“I find it troubling that the United States is standing with countries such as China and North Korea in allowing elective abortions past 20 weeks,” Graham said. “With an impressive 40 co-sponsors and overwhelming support by the public in poll after poll, it is time that Majority Leader Reid allow a vote on a compassionate 20-week limit.”