Democrats block abortion bill in Senate 

Senate Democrats blocked legislation on Monday meant to respond to a political firestorm sparked in Virginia over "late-term abortion."

Senators voted 53-44 on the legislation from Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseAcosta on shaky ground as GOP support wavers Some good advice for Democrats to ignore in 2020 Swing-state Democrats see trouble in proposed pay hike MORE (R-Neb.), which needed 60 votes to advance.

ADVERTISEMENT

Democratic Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinTrump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand Kentucky Democrat says primary challenge to McGrath 'might be helpful' McConnell's Democratic challenger McGrath backtracks on Kavanaugh comments MORE (W.Va.), Doug Jones (Ala.) and Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyCrucial for Congress to fund life-saving diabetes research Republicans make U-turn on health care Democrats press IRS on guidance reducing donor disclosure requirements MORE Jr. (Pa.) voted to proceed to the bill. The legislation would penalize doctors who fail to "exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion."

Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment White House, Congress inch toward debt, budget deal Republicans scramble to contain Trump fallout MORE (R-Ky.) touted the bill ahead of Monday night’s vote, where it was widely expected to fall short, urging Democrats to reject “extreme voices” within their own party.

“It isn’t about new restrictions on abortion. It isn’t about changing the options available to women. It’s just about recognizing that a newborn baby is a newborn baby. Period,” he said.

Democrats blocked a previous attempt to pass the legislation and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerLawmakers pay tribute to late Justice Stevens Trump administration denies temporary immigrant status to Venezuelans in US Colombian official urges more help for Venezuelan migrants MORE (D-N.Y.) argued on Monday that it's part of a pattern from Republicans, whom he accused of misrepresenting the bill.

“This vote does not occur in a vacuum. ... Pay attention to the facts and not false rhetoric. This bill is Washington politics at its worst,” he added.

Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineTrump's pick to lead Pentagon glides through confirmation hearing Acosta defends Epstein deal, bucking calls for resignation Republican lawmakers on why they haven't read Mueller report: 'Tedious' and 'what's the point?' MORE (D-Va.), who is Catholic, released a statement after the vote saying he opposed the bill because GOP statements about it are "misleading." 

"Congress reaffirmed that fact with its passage of the bipartisan Born-Alive Infants Protection Act in 2002. I support that law, which is still in effect. There is no need for additional federal legislation on this topic," Kaine said. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE sharply condemned the vote in a pair of Monday evening tweets:

Monday's vote comes after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) provoked outrage among anti-abortion groups, GOP lawmakers and the White House over his comments about a bill that would have made it easier for women to get third-trimester abortions if their health was threatened by pregnancy.

Kathy Tran, the sponsor of the Virginia bill, fueled the political firestorm when her comments acknowledging that the legislation would allow a woman who is dilating to request an abortion if a doctor determined that childbirth would impair her mental or physical health went viral.

Northam further inflamed tensions when he said on a local radio show that third-trimester abortions are rare and typically occur when an infant is severely deformed or unable to survive after birth.

"In this particular example, if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen: the infant would be delivered; the infant would be kept comfortable; the infant would be resuscitated if that's what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother," Northam said.

A spokeswoman for Northam told The Washington Post that his comments were being taken out of context by Republicans. 

—Updated at 8:54 p.m.