House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, announced a bill Tuesday that would ban late-term abortions.
The House will vote on the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," which would make performing or attempting an abortion illegal for women after 20 weeks of pregnancy, next week on October 3.
"The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act will protect the voiceless, the vulnerable, and the marginalized," McCarthy said in a statement. "It will protect those children who science has proven can feel pain, and give them a chance to grow and live full and happy lives. We have an obligation to speak and defend for those who can't speak for themselves."
While the bill makes exceptions in the case of rape, incest or other life-threatening circumstances for the mother, it also introduces punitive measures for women who don't abide by its regulations, including a potential fine and/or up to five years in prison.
Rep. Trent Franks, R-Arizona, is a co-sponsor of the bill.
We have an obligation to speak and defend for those who can’t speak for themselves. #ProLife pic.twitter.com/oXAyw1ig4e— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) September 26, 2017
We have an obligation to speak and defend for those who can’t speak for themselves. #ProLife pic.twitter.com/oXAyw1ig4e
A previous version of the bill passed the House in May 2015 but was blocked by Democrats in the Senate. The Republican-majority House will likely pass the measure again, but will need 60 votes in the Senate, where Republicans only control 52 seats.
President Trump said in a September 2016 letter that he was committed to signing the bill "which would end painful late-term abortions nationwide" should it pass through both House and the Senate.
Several anti-abortion groups, who argue fetuses are capable of feeling pain at the 20-week gestation mark, support the bill while pro-abortion voices have spoken out against it.
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