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Senate Democrats Blast 20-Week Abortion Ban Legislation

Senate Democrats Blast 20-Week Abortion Ban Legislation

July 11, 2013 — Democratic senators on Wednesday harshly criticized a bill (HR 1797) passed in the House last month that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, calling the measure an "extreme and dangerous" attack on women's health, Politico reports.

While the Democratic-controlled Senate is not likely to pass the bill, the legislation has nonetheless incited rebukes from abortion-rights supporters and Senate Democrats who consider it "political showboating" by conservatives, Politico notes. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) called the bill "a politically driven distraction" at a time lawmakers should address issues like government furloughs and student loan rates (DelReal, Politico, 7/10).

Sen. Rubio Still Weighing Options

Media outlets reported last week that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is considering sponsoring a companion measure to the House bill. Rubio on Wednesday said he and his staff have "been meeting with other offices that are also interested in the topic and trying to find legislative language people can coalesce around" in the Senate, adding the legislation is "still a work in progress."

Rubio also noted his previous cosponsorship of a bill that would have banned most abortions after 20 weeks in the District of Columbia, adding he is "very supportive" of such bans (Everett, Politico, 7/10).