Republicans Senators filed five anti-abortion amendments on Thursday night and Friday morning to the budget resolution as part of the marathon voting session known as "vote-a-rama."
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) filed the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks of gestation in Washington, D.C., based on the theory that fetuses can feel pain at that point. A similar bill introduced by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) in 2012 sparked protests in the hallway outside of Franks' congressional office.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced an amendment that would make it a crime to transport a minor across state lines for an abortion in order to evade parental consent laws. An amendment offered by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) would ban abortions that are performed because of the gender of the fetus, and another offered by Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) would allow hospital or health care workers to opt out of participating in an abortion procedure or dispensing emergency contraception if they morally object to it.
The fifth amendment, introduced by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), would stop all U.S. dollars to the United Nations Population Fund, an international organization that provides family planning and reproductive health services to women around the world. Instead, $25 million would be redirected to the president's Malaria Initiative.
The Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion advocacy group, called the amendments "sensible" and urged the Senate to pass them. "The Senate has a critical opportunity today to vote in favor of common-ground measures supported by popular opinion," said SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser. "Across the country, Americans overwhelmingly support parental rights, ending taxpayer funding of abortion at home and abroad, stopping sex-selection abortion of baby girls, and protecting babies capable of feeling pain prenatally."
The amendments have little chance of passing in the Democrat-controlled Senate.