Senate Democrats Stand Up For Choice By Blocking 20 Week Abortion Ban Bill

By a vote of 54-42, Senate Democrats have blocked a House-passed bill that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks.

Three Democratic anti-choice Senators joined Republicans in voting for the bill (Sens. Casey, Manchin, and Donnelly, while two pro-choice Republicans joined with Democrats in voting against the bill (Collins and Kirk).

Before the vote, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) called the vote a waste of time:

It is said that you cannot make the same mistake twice. The second time you make it, it’s a choice. On every issue, imaginable Republicans are choosing to employ the same failed strategy. Over and over again, they drag Congress and the American people through votes that are publicity stunts designed to boost their conservative records.

Today we stand in the midst of yet another Republican show-vote designed to honor the political wish list of extremists. Once again, Republicans have decided to place women’s health at the center of their ideological campaign. We’ve seen this tactic before. It doesn’t work. Americans are tired of Republican attacks on women’s health.


Every Senator in this body knows this bill is going nowhere. This attack is a waste of time. It will accomplish nothing. By holding today’s vote, the Republican Leader is pandering to the right-wing extremists in his party who are willing to take our government hostage to try and score political points. The time for partisan politics is over. The Senate and our government cannot afford to be subjected to meaningless attacks on women’s health.

Sen. Reid was correct. The bill was dead on arrival from the House. McConnell and his Senate Republicans were attempting to set up a show vote that would have been timed with the arrival of Pope Francis, but Democrats weren’t about to let Republicans play politics with a woman’s legal right to choose.

Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is wasting time with empty votes while the country inches closer to a government shutdown. Democrats and President Obama are never going to let an abortion ban become law. Beyond wasting time, the bill was another attack on women’s health that reinforced the message that Republicans are not “pro-family” or on the side of women.

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