U.S. Senate bypasses abortion legislation

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The U.S. Senate rejected two bills Tuesday that would restrict abortion.

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WASHINGTON (KFOR) – The U.S. Senate rejected two bills Tuesday that would restrict abortion.

One bill would ban elective abortions after 20 weeks, and the other would make sure that an infant that survives an abortion must be kept alive.

Democrats say the bills are unnecessary because there are already laws in place.

But Republicans argue it's a chance for every senator to take a moral stand on abortion.

Both of the abortion rights bills that the Senate debated Tuesday have been introduced on the floor several times over the past few years, but never have passed, and that’s what Democrats are saying is going to happen today.

Republicans say it's a chance for every senator to take a moral stand.

"Each member of this chamber can go on record to say they are against killing innocent babies," said Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas).

But Democrats say the two bills are politics as usual.

"Two divisive, anti-choice, anti-women, anti-family bills," said Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader from New York.

Schumer says republicans are trying to strip women of their rights

"These bills would in effect criminalize women's reproductive care and intimidate healthcare providers," Schumer said.

But Cornyn says both bills are commonsense.

"There is one goal with this legislation and one goal only, to give every baby a fighting chance," Cornyn said.

One bill would ban abortions after 20 week, and the other would require doctors to treat babies who survive an abortion with the same life-saving care that other infants receive.

"We’re talking about killing babies that are already born," said Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska).

"These bills pretend as if we don't already have laws on the books that protect infants," Schumer said.

Schumer says Republicans have introduced the same two bills several times over the past few years, and every time they fail, but Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz says these bills are important.

"We should not be committing procedures that result in pain and agony and suffering," Cruz said.

Republicans say they'll keep bringing these bills to the floor until they pass and become law.

President Donald Trump said in his State of the Union address that restricting abortion is one of his top priorities this year, and he called on Congress to pass legislation banning late term abortions.

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