WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — The House defeated a bill that would have banned abortions in the District of Columbia after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
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 was based on the disputed claim that fetuses can feel pain at a gestational age of 20 weeks or older. The National Right to Life Committee, an anti-abortion group, made the bill its top priority on Capitol Hill this year. Nine states passed similar legislation.
Abortion-rights advocates said the bill is an attempt to roll back a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion.
“[This] bill is the key element of a state-by-state campaign to undermine a woman’s right to choose and to overturn the law of the land,” said Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton.
She feels the legislation is an attempt by “bullies in Congress” to use the District of Columbia and its women to further their own agenda.
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