Senators plan post-recess markup of late-term abortion bill

Senators plan post-recess markup of late-term abortion bill
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Momentum is growing for a GOP-backed bill banning late-term abortions in the wake of the viral video of Planned Parenthood’s use of fetal tissue.

Republican senators are planning a markup of the bill – which would ban nearly all abortions after 20 weeks – in September, with a final vote expected shortly after, according to a GOP aide. The Senate Judiciary Committee is also planning a hearing on the topic “sometime this fall,” spokeswoman Beth Levine said Thursday.

Senators are moving up the timeline to consider the bill after an anti-abortion group released a video that shows a Planned Parenthood executive in a shockingly candid discussion about the demand for fetal lungs, livers and “intact” hearts by medical researchers.

While the donation of fetal tissue for research is legal, abortion opponents are pushing the 20-week ban as a way to limit the number of late-term abortions in which organs are involved.

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“This is absolutely building up the momentum,” said Mallory Quigley, a spokeswoman for Susan B. Anthony List.

“This would stop some of the abortions from happening in first place,” she added.

The legislation, also called the Pain-Capable Child Protection Act, was approved by the House in May with a 242-184 vote.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), one of two GOP chairmen investigating the video’s claims, said it underscores “the need for the Senate to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has previously pledged that the bill would see a vote this fall.

Still, there's no timeline for when the bill could be taken up by the committee or when a full vote could come, Levine and McConnell spokesman Don Stewart both said.

This story was updated at 3:48 p.m.