Legislation was passed by the Republican-dominated House on Tuesday that would outlaw late-term abortions.
The bill is now headed to the Senate where, according to KHOU, it’s bound to be shot down. Even so, the bill is indicative of the GOP’s strict views on abortion that don’t look to be changing.
Trump is reportedly ready to sign such a bill into law if it ever makes it to his desk, with a White House official sending Texas lawmakers a letter saying laws like this “would help to facilitate the culture of life to which our nation aspires.”
Though the Republican party has the majority in the Senate, Democrats can and will oppose the bill enough to prevent the 60-vote majority required for it to be passed to the Oval Office and the president’s pen.
The GOP claims there is scientific evidence that a fetus can feel pain 20 weeks after fertilization, and has used that as a main basis for their anti-abortion stance. House Speaker Paul Ryan has said “These unborn babies are feeling pain. They suffer. That is really hard to hear and really hard to say.”
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, however, has said that a fetus can’t feel pain until at least the 24-week mark. CEO Hal Lawrence has said that an “overwhelming” amount of evidence supports that finding.
Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis called the bill “a cruel and ruthless attempt to undermine women and attack our right to govern our bodies.”
It criminalizes the performance of abortions on fetuses 20 weeks into development, with exceptions for rape and incest cases reported to authorities. This creates the fairly obvious loophole of what might happen if such crimes occur but aren’t reported.
GOP leader John Cornyn of Texas has said that lawmakers are more focused on tax cuts than this issue at the moment. “That’s not a near-term priority,” he said of the anti-abortion bill.