WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill on Wednesday that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks, a measure strongly opposed by the White House.
The Republican-led House approved the bill by a largely party-line vote of 242-184. An earlier version was pulled by House Republican leaders in January after a revolt by some Republican women in the chamber.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte called Wednesday's vote "a victory for the most innocent & defenseless among us, our children."
p> "Extensive medical research shows that unborn children commence to feel pain by 20 weeks post fertilization, & probably earlier," the Virginia Republican said.
The bill, called the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, faces an uncertain fate in the Senate. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Wednesday the Obama administration continued to strongly oppose the bill.
â€œIt's disgraceful that House Republicans would be considering a party-line vote on a piece of legislation that would continue to impose even additional harsh burdens on survivors of sexual assault, rape & incest,â€ Earnest told a White House briefing before Wednesday's vote.
The Center for Reproductive Rights called the bill "cruel & unconstitutional," saying it contained exceptions only for women with life-threatening conditions, rape survivors who have gotten medical care or counseling at least 48 hours before seeking an abortion, & minors who reported rape or incest to law enforcement or child protection agencies.
(Reporting by Peter Cooney; Editing by Eric Beech)
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