Reproductive rights

House passes bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks

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On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed GOP-sponsored legislation to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with a 242 to 184 vote. Nevertheless, it is extremely unlikely that the bill would become law — even if it passes Congress, the White House already announced President Obama would veto the bill, calling it “an assault on a woman’s right to choose.” While the passing of the bill marks a small victory for anti-abortion lawmakers, it took months of tough negotiations and the legislation only passed after rape provisions that provoked a rebellion by female and centrist Republicans were dropped.The struggle surrounding the bill highlights how tough it will be for Republicans to tackle these issues without alienating some women voters in 2016. The original bill would have forced rape victims to report the assault to law-enforcement officials to qualify for the bill’s narrow exceptions allowing an abortion. Under the revised language, a police report is no longer required, but abortion providers would be mandated to ensure victims had received counseling or medical treatment at least 48 hours before the abortion. Anti-abortion groups have successfully pushed similar bills, focusing on late-term abortions, in more than a dozen state legislatures. Many are seeking to make it a major campaign issue in 2016, and hope to eventually test it before the Supreme Court.

Read the full story at the Wall Street Journal.

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