A pair of anti-abortion bills failed to advance in the U.S. Senate this Tuesday. The two bills were largely seen as a rallying cry for social conservatives and a method of pressuring vulnerable Democrats.
The two bills, S. 311 and S. 3275, sought to ban abortion after 20 weeks and require doctors to provide care to infants born after failed abortions. The bills needed 60 votes to advance and failed on partisan lines.
All Senate Republicans except Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AL) voted for the bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks, while Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) supported the measure. All four Senators voted for the second bill.
Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer blasted the efforts as a “shameless political stunt,” pointing to identical previous legislation rejected by the chamber.
“Every single Senate Republican knows that these bills cannot and will not pass. But they’re putting them on the floor anyway to pander to the hard right,” Schumer said.
Ahead of the vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called on senators to “take a clear moral stand” and advance the legislation. After the vote, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), lead author of the 20-week ban, asserted that “these pieces of legislation will continue to be advanced until they pass.”
Reproductive rights advocates argue that bills like the 20-week ban and abortion survivors’ protection act are grounded in disinformation and deception. In a press release, NARAL pro-choice America called the bills “A pair of anti-choice bills grounded in dangerous disinformation about abortion intended to insert politicians into personal decisions about pregnancy, often in devastating and heartbreaking circumstances.”
Politico, 2/25/2020; U.S. Senate, 2/25/2020, 2/25/2020; NARAL, 2/25/2020