U.S. Senate Blocks Abortion Bill

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - The U.S. Senate defeated a bill Monday afternoon to ban late-term abortions.

Needing a total of 60 votes to pass, the bill fell short following a 51 to 49 vote --mostly along party lines. 

It was just a couple of weeks ago when people from all over the community were fighting for women's right. Monday afternoon it was in the hands of the U.S. Senate.

The legislation that was blocked would not allow an abortion to be performed after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Much of the debate was centered around if a fetus can feel pain.

"It's pain-capable, arms and legs are moving, hair is growing, heart is beating. It's a human being, it's alive and we should not only consider the needs and desires of the mother but we should also consider the infant," said Carl Malito, member of Mesa County Right to Life.

NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado Executive Director Karen Middleton said, "There is something going on for us to arbitrarily wonder if there is pain or make a decision about liability, it's not really for us to say."

Both organizations had mixed reviews on the legislation being defeated.

"I'm grateful the senate defeated the 20-week ban on abortion," said Middleton.

Malito opposed, "Of course, we're disappointed that the measure didn't advance."

The bill exempted women in critical health, incest survivors, and those who conceived during rape.

Supporters of the bill say all lives matter and there is life inside the womb during a second trimester.

"We're hoping that more and more people will come to understand that life within the womb is valuable, life inside the womb is to be protected."

But opponents of the bill advocate for the government to not be involved.

"It's a dangerous situation for someone to be in and that's why we think it should not be in the hands of government."

NARAL Pro-Choice says about one percent of abortion procedures happen after the first trimester. Colorado was one of the first states to allow abortion after Row v. Wade.

Colorado's U.S. Senators were on opposite sides of this bill. Republican Cory Gardner voted for it and Democrat Michael Bennet voted against it.

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