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House to vote on abortion bill next week

The House plans to vote on legislation banning abortions after 20 weeks on the same day as the annual March for Life next Thursday.

Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators descend on Washington every year on Jan. 22, which is the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.

{mosads}Legislation introduced by Reps. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), titled the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Supporters of the bill maintain that fetuses can feel pain by the approximate halfway stage of a pregnancy.

The bill would allow exceptions in cases involving rape, incest or if the mother’s life is in danger.

Republican lawmakers will make an appearance at the Jan. 22 march. House GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) will lead the congressional delegation in the March for Life this year. Reps. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and at least one Democrat, Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.), are also slated as featured speakers.

House Republicans have passed versions of the legislation in the past two sessions of Congress since taking control of the chamber, but the Democratic-Senate never took up those bills.

Franks stirred controversy when the House considered the measure in committee in June 2013 after he claimed the rate of pregancy resulting from rape is “very low.” Blackburn subsequently led the floor debate in Franks’s place.

Tags Abortion Cathy McMorris Rodgers March for Life Tim Scott Trent Franks
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