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US Senate defeats bill banning late-term abortion

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US Senate Democrats have blocked a controversial measure that would ban and criminalise abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, scuttling a longtime priority of conservatives in Congress President Donald Trump described the failure of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act as disappointing, and urged senators to reconsider.

The measure fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance the bill in the 100-member Senate, although it earned a narrow majority in the chamber, 51 to 46.

Congressional Republicans have for years sought to pass legislation that restricts abortion in the United States, despite the Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 ruling upholding a woman’s right to end a pregnancy.

The bill, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks but provide exceptions for rape, incest and critical health risks to the mother, passed the Republican-controlled House of Representatives in October.

But it faced a higher bar in the Senate, where opponents blocking tactics can force a 60-vote threshold.

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