WASHINGTON – A bill that would ban abortions in the District of Columbia after 20 weeks of pregnancy has failed to pass the House.
The vote in favor of the bill Tuesday was 220-154, with 17 Democrats joining 203 Republicans to support it. But because it was considered under special rules requiring a 2/3 vote for passage, the bill won't proceed to the Democratic-controlled Senate, where it was unlikely come up for a vote.
The bill is based on the disputed claim that fetuses can feel pain beginning at the age of 20 weeks, and anti-abortion groups have made it a top priority. Nine states have passed similar legislation.
Opponents say the bill is an attempt to roll back a woman's constitutional right to an abortion.