The Lead

Casey sides with Senate Republicans in failed vote to advance abortion bill

By: - February 26, 2019 10:10 am

Sen. Bob Casey. (Senate Democrats/Flickr)

A bill to make it a felony for a doctor to harm or not aid an infant who survives an “attempted abortion” failed to reach the U.S. Senate’s 60 vote minimum to break a fillibuster Monday.

Sen. Bob Casey, Pennsylvania’s senior senator, was one of three Democrats to vote with every Republican to advance the bill. The final tally was 53-44, according to Politico.

Joining Casey and the chamber’s Republicans were joined by Democrats Sen. Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, and Sen. Doug Jones, of Alabama.

“I’m a pro-life Democrat, which means I support women and children before and after birth,” Casey said in an emailed statement. “I voted in favor of the motion to debate this measure. I will also continue to fight to protect Medicaid, which finances approximately 45 percent of all births in our nation, and funding for Planned Parenthood from far right attacks.”

Casey voted for a 20-week abortion ban last year, but he has also backed women’s health funding unrelated to abortions for Planned Parenthood.

The bill text mandates that doctors “exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age.”

Republicans, including President Donald Trump, have backed the bill in light of a nationally amplified debate in Virginia. Supporters of abortion access and national medical groups have pointed out that infanticide is already illegal.

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Stephen Caruso
Stephen Caruso

Stephen Caruso is a former senior reporter with Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Before working with the Capital-Star he covered Pennsylvania state government for The PLS Reporter.