The United States House of Representatives has voted in favour of a Bill to end abortions after an unborn baby has reached 20 weeks.
On 13 May, the House passed a Bill called H.R. 36, to stop late-term abortions by 242 votes to 184. The Bill will now pass to the Senate.
Similar legislation has just come into force in West Virginia and is being considered in South Carolina.
Prominent politicians and pro-life organisations hailed the federal vote as a victory for the unborn.
Republican Representative Trent Franks, the main sponsor of the Bill, said, “this proposal is substantially stronger than the original bill, and it places the focus back upon protecting mothers and their innocent little pain-capable babies”.
Senator Rand Paul, also a Republican, told LifeSiteNews: “I believe life begins at conception and that abortion takes the life of an innocent human being”.
He continued: “It is the duty of our government to protect this life as a right guaranteed under the Constitution.”
Religious liberty group, Alliance Defending Freedom also welcomed the vote.
Spokesman Steven H. Aden said: “Every innocent life deserves to be protected. We commend the House for putting the health and well-being of mothers and unborn children first.
“Not only does this law protect children in the womb who can experience horrific pain, it also protects mothers from the increased risk of physical harm and the tremendous physiological consequences that come with late-term abortions.”
The Bill would have to pass through the Senate and be signed by President Obama before it could become law. But the White House has signalled that President Obama will veto it.
West Virginia introduced measures to ban 20 week abortions on Tuesday.
This made the state the eleventh in the country to prohibit late-term abortions, with limited exceptions in cases of medical emergencies.
In South Carolina, senators voted in favour of a similar Bill known as the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act”. It will have to be signed by Governor Nikki Haley before it passes into law.