Every so often, you hear a Senate Democrat lament that we are far behind the rest of the world because we are among only three countries that do not have mandatory maternity leave.
Well, it’s apparent that they only look towards a global consensus for legislation when it’s political convenient. After today’s vote in the Senate, with Democrats blocking a ban on abortions performed after 20 weeks of gestation – the US remains one of only seven countries that allow so-called “partial birth abortions,” and one of only four countries – China, North Korea, the US and Canada, that allow the barbaric practice of abortion up to the point of delivery.
Now there’s a paragon of modernity and virtue in an otherwise chaotic and anachronistic world.
With just over a week until government funding is set to expire, Senate Democrats blocked a bill that would ban abortions from being conducted on fetuses after 20-weeks of gestation, a time at which supporters of the bill say a fetus can feel pain.
The motion, which needed 60 votes to advance, failed 54-42.
The vote was yet another attempt by GOP leadership to allow Republicans to vote on the topic of abortion ahead of what is expected to be a contentious government funding fight. Conservative Republicans, led by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in that chamber, are calling on their colleagues to block any government funding bill which does not strip federal funding of Planned Parenthood.
That’s pretty much on party lines. So perhaps it’s time to allow the Democrats to own partial birth abortion as a cornerstone of their party platform. Because nothing says “party of progress” like a slate of “yes” votes on a measure that allows doctors to shove scissors into the nape of a viable child’s neck as they descend the birth canal. This is not a procedure that has anything to do with women’s health.
This is, of course, just the first shot fired in what looks to be a war over the budget, with Ted Cruz and Senate conservatives lining up behind a possible shutdown if the Senate does not approve a budget that strips Planned Parenthood of designated funding, instead making funding for “women’s health” a general grant program that would give to community health centers more evenly. I’m torn on whether this is an appropriate action, but I think it shows backbone on a very important issue – an issue that Republicans seem poised to take back, using new, generational messaging.
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