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GOP Passes Bill Criminalizing Abortion After 20 Weeks Carrying A Penalty Of Up To Five Years In Prison

EQUALITY

GOP Passes Bill Criminalizing Abortion After 20 Weeks Carrying A Penalty Of Up To Five Years In Prison




Republicans in Congress voted to pass a bill making it a crime to perform or undergo an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), would make it illegal to perform or attempt an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with the possibility of a fine, up to five years in prison or both.

The legislation grants some exceptions for rape, incest or to save the life of the woman. It would also not penalize women for simply seeking abortions after 20 weeks.

The measure passed heavily along party lines, 237-189.

A similar bill passed the House in 2015 but was later blocked by Senate Democrats.



The new bill faces a similar fate in the Senate as Republicans only hold a 52-seat majority and it would be unlikely that they could gather the 60 votes needed to move the legislation to Trump’s desk.

The Trump administration said on Monday it “strongly supports” the bill and “applauds the House of Representatives for continuing its efforts to secure critical pro-life protections,” the Office of Management and Budget wrote in a statement of administration policy.

Abortion rights groups, however, have condemned the bill.

“The agenda behind this bill is clear: to shame women and to ban safe, legal abortion,” said Dana Singiser, vice president for government relations and public policy for Planned Parenthood.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Tuesday he would reintroduce a companion bill in the Senate soon.

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