Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is turning the Senate toward a fight over abortion next week.
McConnell moved to bring up a 20-week abortion ban, paving the way for a procedural vote expected on Monday.
“Now Congress has an opportunity to take a step forward. … I’m pleased to have filed cloture on this bill to protect unborn children who are capable of feeling pain. … And I look forward to voting for it early next week,” McConnell said.
The legislation, from GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), would make it illegal for any person to perform or attempt an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with the possible penalty of five years in prison, fines or both.
Republicans will need 60 votes to overcome a procedural hurdle before they can take up the bill.
With a 51-seat majority, they are expected to fall short. The bill has 45 co-sponsors — all Republicans.
The Senate will take a procedural vote on the measure next week.