Lisa Murkowski

Abortion ban bill fails to advance in the Senate

A closely divided Senate on Monday blocked a proposed federal ban on abortions after 20 weeks in a vote that is likely to be the first of several election-year attempts to highlight the split between Democrats and Republicans.

The Pain-Capable Unborn Children Protection Act failed to earn the 60 votes needed to clear a procedural hurdle, marking a defeat for opponents of such procedures but fulfilling a pledge by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to hold a vote on the legislation. The vote was 51-46.

McConnell said the legislation "reflects a growing mainstream consensus" that abortions should be banned after 20 weeks.

"There is no reason...