Before a crowd of the party faithful at the Faith and Freedom Coalition's Road to Majority Conference Friday morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed to bring a controversial House-passed abortion bill before the Senate.
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Act, which would ban abortions at 20 weeks, passed the House after some turmoil within the Republican conference just last month. McConnell gave no time frame for bringing the bill to the Senate floor this year.
"That's not only good news for pro-lifers; it's good news for our entire country," McConnell said. "It's about time we begin the process of putting America into the ranks of most other civilized countries by protecting unborn children after 20 weeks in the womb."
Any abortion measure is unlikely to clear the upper chamber, needing at least six Democratic yeas to reach the 60 necessary to proceed. But the vote would give both parties the opportunity to put members on the record on the issue.
That could raise problems for some of the Senate's 2016 reelection candidates, many of whom are Republicans facing difficult battles in blue and purple states where an abortion vote could hurt them with swing and traditionally Democratic voters. At the same time, late-term abortion bans poll well generally and are exceedingly popular with GOP voters, making Republican candidates wary of opposing them.