House votes next week on abortion bill

House votes next week on abortion bill

The House will vote next week on a bill imposing criminal penalties on doctors who don't administer proper medical care to infants who survive abortions.

Under the bill, sponsored by Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnSenate campaign fundraising reports roll in This week: Time running out for Congress to avoid shutdown House votes next week on abortion bill MORE (R-Tenn.), any doctor who fails to provide appropriate care to an infant who survives abortion can be sentenced to up to five years in prison. 

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"This bill states simply that if a baby is born after a failed abortion attempt, he or she should be given the same medical care as a baby born any other way," said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyMcCarthy: ‘No deadline on DACA’ Hoyer suggests Dems won't support spending bill without DACA fix The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Calif.) 

A similar bill passed the House in 2015.

Republicans and anti-abortion advocates argue that current federal law doesn't adequately protect infants born during abortions. 

Abortions rights supporters and Democrats argue such incidences are rare and the bill is duplicative of current law.

While the Born Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002 requires that an infant who survives an abortion be provided emergency medical care, it doesn't include criminal penalties. 

The House planned the vote for Jan. 19 to coincide with the March for Life, an annual rally protesting abortion that draws tens of thousands to D.C. 

Blackburn reintroduced the bill last month after its original sponsor, former Rep. Trent FranksHarold (Trent) Trent FranksThis week: Time running out for Congress to avoid shutdown Woman accuses New York state senator of sexual misconduct Womack wins initial support to become Budget chairman MORE (R-Ariz.), resigned from Congress after discussing surrogacy with staffers in a way that made them uncomfortable.