WASHINGTON (KDKA/AP) - The Senate has rejected legislation designed to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
But the bill succeeded at putting vulnerable Democrats on the record on that issue, which was one of the Republicans' goals. The GOP is defending its 51-49 majority in the midterm elections.
Three Democratic-senators up for re-election in conservative states voted to advance the legislation. They are Sens. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted with other Democrats to reject it.
Sen. Casey released the following statement defending his vote.
"I am a pro-life Democrat, which means I support women and children before and after birth. I have fought against multiple Republican attempts to defund Planned Parenthood and have advocated for funding for contraception (Title X). I have also taken the lead in opposing Republican schemes to decimate Medicaid and Republican budgets that substantially cut programs like the Women Infants and Children (WIC) program and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
This evening, I voted for the Graham bill as I have in the past. I will continue to do all I can to stop dangerous efforts by Washington Republicans to defund Planned Parenthood and decimate Medicaid. Seventy-seven percent of Planned Parenthood patients receive services to prevent unintended pregnancy and Planned Parenthood serves one in three of all patients seeking contraceptive care at a publicly-funded health care provider. Medicaid pays for nearly half of all births in the nation."
The vote was 51-46, short of the 60-vote threshold to advance the bill.
The House passed identical legislation in October.
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