WASHINGTON – The
The bill approved largely along party lines would prohibit abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, with limited exceptions to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest, so long as they have been reported to law enforcement.
The final vote was 228 to 196. Six
The 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision allowed abortions until a fetus is viable outside the womb, generally considered to be at 24 weeks. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last month struck down an Arizona law that also would have banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Other states with Republican-led legislatures have also pushed new abortion restrictions.
House Democrats protested the measure as unconstitutional and a new assault by the GOP on women's reproductive rights in what they call a "war on women."
Republican leaders, though, said it was needed legislation after a Philadelphia abortion doctor was convicted on three counts of first-degree murder for killing babies after they were delivered.
The bill was amended last week to make an exception for pregnancy caused by rape or incest, after a hearing in which its sponsor, Rep.
Democrats tied the statement to one from Missouri Senate candidate
"I just find it astonishing to hear a phrase repeated that the incidence of pregnancy from rape is low," said Rep.
Democrats also said the exceptions added by Republicans still fell short, because they apply only when the rape or incest has been reported, and women often are reluctant to report the crimes.
“I thought we had established this last fall with the election. Americans are tired of
A recent Gallup poll found that Americans' views on abortion had changed little after the Gosnell trial, with 78% saying it should be legal under certain circumstances, compared with 20% who said it should be illegal in all circumstances.
Republican leaders sought better public faces for the legislation Tuesday after Franks’ comments. Rep.