20-Week Abortion Ban Will Be Introduced to the House Next Week

Expected to pass


The House will vote next week on a bill banning abortions across the country after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Doug Heye, deputy chief of staff to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., confirmed to CQ Roll Call that the chamber is on track to consider legislation next week that would ban all abortions after the 20-week threshold — the point at which some medical professionals believe a fetus can begin to feel pain.

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., is being marked up by the full House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday and has the strong backing of the National Right to Life Committee.

Heye also confirmed that the bill would be brought to the floor under a rule, designed to allow for passage via a simple majority. Franks had a previous incarnation of the bill that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks only in the District of Columbia, and it came up for a vote in 2012 under suspension of the rules, an expedited procedure for allowing bills to come to the floor. But such suspension measures require a two-thirds majority vote for passage, and the bill failed to pass that goal post.