WASHINGTON (AP) - The abortion wars are returning to Congress in a big way with House legislation to ban almost all abortions after a fetus reaches 20 weeks of age.
The legislation expected to pass the Republican-controlled House as early as Tuesday has no chance of becoming law in the near future. The Democratic-led Senate will ignore it and the White House has issued a veto threat. But it gives social conservatives a rare chance to promote their anti-abortion agenda and lays the groundwork for what could be a future challenge to the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized late-term abortions.
The legislation, patterned after similar bills passed by state legislatures, defies the court ruling which made most abortions legal until a fetus is viable, generally considered to be at least 24 weeks.