AP NEWS

The Latest: Democrats block Senate GOP anti-abortion effort

February 25, 2019

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Senate legislation on abortion (all times local):

5:45 p.m.

Senate Democrats have blocked a Republican effort to pass legislation threatening prison for doctors who don’t try saving the life of infants born alive during abortions.

Monday’s vote was 53-44 for the measure. That was seven short of the 60 votes Republicans needed to end Democratic delaying tactics aimed at killing the bill.

The measure was sponsored by Nebraska GOP Sen. Ben Sasse. He says the bill gave senators a chance to show they oppose infanticide.

Opponents say the measure was an effort to appeal to conservative voters and continue a GOP assault on abortion rights.

They say live births during abortions are extremely rare and usually occur when doctors decide the infant could not survive. They say laws already prohibit killing infants born alive during abortions.

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4:50 p.m.

Republicans are pushing toward a Senate vote Monday on legislation that would threaten prison for doctors who don’t try saving the life of infants born alive during abortions, a measure that seemed certain to fail but offered the GOP a chance to appeal to conservative voters.

The measure seems certain to fail. But it offers the GOP a chance to appeal to conservative voters.

Opponents say the bill is unneeded. They say such births are rare and laws already make it a crime to kill newborn babies.

Doctors’ and abortion-rights groups say it is extremely unusual for live infants to be born during attempted late-term abortions, which they say usually occur when the baby is extremely deformed or deemed unable to survive after birth.