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 SasseSenate GOP votes to permanently ban earmarks The Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget Senate Republicans running away from Alabama abortion law MORE (R-Neb.), which needed 60 votes to advance.

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Democratic Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSenate Democrats to House: Tamp down the impeachment talk The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Senate panel approves Interior nominee over objections from Democrats MORE (W.Va.), Doug Jones (Ala.) and Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick Casey2020 Democrats put spotlight on disabilities issues Why Congress needs to bring back tax deduction for worker expenses Biden cements spot as 2020 front-runner 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 12:30 Report: Trump orders more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions What if 2020 election is disputed? Immigration bills move forward amid political upheaval 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 SchumerNo agreement on budget caps in sight ahead of Memorial Day recess Ex-White House photographer roasts Trump: 'This is what a cover up looked like' under Obama Pelosi: Trump 'is engaged in a cover-up' 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 KaineOvernight Defense: Details on Senate's 0B defense bill | Bill rejects Trump plan to skirt budget caps | Backfills money for border wall | Defense chief says more troops could head to Mideast Dem senator plans amendment to restrict military action against Iran Overnight Defense: Iran worries dominate foreign policy talk | Pentagon reportedly to send WH plans for 10K troops in Mideast | Democrats warn Trump may push through Saudi arms sale | Lawmakers blast new Pentagon policy on sharing info 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 TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit 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.