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Health Care

House Votes Down DC Abortion Bill

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C.(Chet Susslin)

photo of Meghan McCarthy
July 31, 2012

The House voted down a bill restricting abortion access in the District of Columbia Tuesday, despite overwhelming Republican support for the legislation.

The bill fell 220-154. It was voted on “under suspension of the rules,” a procedure that is typically reserved for legislation that is non-controversial. It also requires two-thirds of members voting in the affirmative -- in this case, 249 votes -- to pass.

The bill stands no chance of getting through the Democratic-controlled Senate. Given that reality, putting the legislation up for a vote under suspension of the rules allows Republicans a chance to get Democrats on the record on an abortion vote, without having to spend time getting the bill through the House Rules committee and on to the floor.

 

Anti-abortion groups used the vote to try and force the president to comment on the bill, something that has a very slim chance of happening.

“The White House cannot remain silent on this.  The American people deserve to know whether the President endorses the status quo in the District of Columbia, which is abortion on demand, for any reason, regardless of the pain experienced by the unborn at this advanced stage of pregnancy, up to the moment of birth,” Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement.

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