The Republicans in the House of Representatives advanced a measure along party lines this week to specifically ban abortion after 20 weeks of gestation. Only four Democrats voted in favor of the bill and four Republicans voted against.
The vote was strategically timed to coincide with the two-year anniversary of Kermit Gosnell’s conviction. Gosnell, was the infamous abortionist charged with killing infants who had been born alive during his abortion procedures.
The bill passed 242-184 and included a 48-hour waiting period as well as informed consent requirements. It further includes post-rape counseling before a woman can seek an abortion. The bill will most likely be unheard in Senate, since a similar bill is currently backed by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. If the bill is to be approved it will likely be combined in conference with the House version.
Regardless of its outcome in Congress, it is a virtually certain President Obama will veto the resultant measure. White House spokesman Josh Earnest has already criticized the House’s move as “disgraceful.”
Nevertheless, House leaders argue the bill is part of a long-term strategy to move the front line on the battle over abortion. It is a strategy that seeks to frame the debate before an expected fight in the Supreme Court.