Senate Democrats refused to allow a vote on a 20 week abortion ban Tuesday, with the help of Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins and Mark Kirk.
The bid for a vote (54-42) on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act failed, when 38 Democrats, both Independent senators and Republicans Collins and Kirk opposed the measure. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell needed 60 votes to move forward with the House-passed bill.
Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski also effectively opposed the measure by not voting, along with Democrats Barbara Boxer, Patty Murray and Mark Warner.(RELATED: House Passes 20 Week Abortion Ban)
“I don’t know how they will sleep tonight,” Sen. David Vitter said in a statement Tuesday, slamming Senate Democrats for failing to “protect some of our most vulnerable from unimaginable pain.” (RELATED: Kansas Bans ‘Dismemberment’ Abortions)
The bill bans abortions after five months when unborn babies are capable of feeling pain, except in cases of rape, incest and life of the mother. It’s not surprising the bid for a vote fell short, although Democrats Bob Casey, Joe Donnelly and Joe Manchin broke party lines to support of the measure.
The Senate is also expected to take up another house-passed bill to protect infants born-alive during botched abortions by requiring care and admission to a hospital. Republican Sen. Ben Sasse introduced the bill Tuesday with the support of 20 senators.
Both votes are part of an effort to allow senators to respond to the furor over revelations about Planned Parenthood’s dealing in aborted fetus parts. The Center for Medical Progress has released a number of videos in which top Planned Parenthood executives discuss harvesting and selling aborted fetuses.
Some Republicans, including the House Freedom caucus, say they’re willing to shutdown the government in order to strip Planned Parenthood of its $500 million of funding — Congress has less than 10 days to work out a funding deal.
The House voted to defund Planned Parenthood last week, but Senate Democrats blocked a Senate vote on a similar bill in August. McConnell says he won’t allow a shutdown over the matter.