Senate Democrats earlier today were able to block a bill that would bar most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The measure received 54 votes for and 42 against, but required 60 yea votes to pass procedural rules.
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski was one of 4 senators who missed the vote. Murkowski’s office said the Senator had consulted the Senate calendar earlier in the year and had scheduled travel today assuming the Senate wouldn’t be in session because of Yom Kippur.
The Alaska Democratic Party, who’s allies on Capitol Hill were aided by the absence of Murkowski’s vote, accused the Senator of ducking the vote anyway, saying:
“The anti-choice group Susan B Anthony List ran television ads pressuring Murkowski to support the 20-week ban. With her no show, the anti-choice organization succeeded in pressuring Murkowski.”
Read more on the vote here.
Senator Murkowski has released this statement on the vote:
“I support a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices. However, that support is not without limits. I oppose late term abortion and support restricting abortion after 20 weeks, so long as there are clear and workable exceptions, such as for victims of rape and incest and in cases where the life of the mother is threatened. While I do not support the bill the Senate failed to advance today, I could support future legislation that meets this standard.”