The Senate is likely to vote this month on a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of gestation, sources familiar with the matter told the Washington Examiner.
Anti-abortion groups are pressing for the vote to happen the same day as the March for Life rally on Jan. 19, which happens every year close to the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal nationwide.
The House passed the 20-week abortion ban in October. The bill, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, would penalize medical providers who perform abortions after 20 weeks of gestation with fines or with up to five years in prison, or both. The bill contains limited exceptions, including when a woman's pregnancy puts her life at risk and in cases of rape or incest.
President Trump said in a statement of administration policy ahead of the House vote that if the bill were to reach his desk his team would recommend he sign it into law.
But the legislation will need at least 60 votes in the Senate and is not expected to pass. Still, anti-abortion groups hope that a vote will force the conversation during an election year to clarify candidates' stances on abortion later in a pregnancy.
A similar bill banning abortion after 20 weeks met the same fate in 2015.
States have different restrictions on abortions, with 17 of them banning abortion at about 20 weeks post-fertilization, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which tracks and studies reproductive laws.
Advocates of 20-week bans say a fetus can feel pain at this stage, while abortion rights groups have countered that women who have an abortion late in a pregnancy are often faced with genetic results that indicate if a child is born he or she will be disabled or will not survive.