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Trump Says He Wants to Sign Bill Banning Abortion After 20 Weeks, Calls It High Priority

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List, said President Trump recently told her that singing a bill to ban abortion on fetuses 20 weeks or more after fertilization is a “high priority” for him.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., held a press conference Tuesday with pro-life leaders to announce that the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” will be put to a vote on Oct. 3 in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Not only will passing this legislation keep a promise we made, but all the work is for the same goal: ending suffering and helping people live,” McCarthy said.

Dannenfelser spoke with the Media Research Center after the press conference in Washington D.C., where she said she spoke with Trump about the issue.

“The other thing that is different this time is that the president of the United States, who I talked with last night at the White House about this, considers it a high priority,” Dannenfelser said. “So this has become now a national conversation, not just a conversation that you have off on the sidelines.”

Dannenfelser also said she believes the bill will pass this time because it is a big issue for voters. She said lawmakers who don’t vote in favor of the bill will be subject to criticism from their constituents ahead of crucial 2018 midterm elections.

“This will be a big issue in the 2018 Senate elections,” Dannenfelser said.

The bill passed in the House but was blocked by Senate Democrats in 2015. It has to secure 60 votes in the Senate for it to pass. With Republicans controlling 52 seats in the Senate, eight Democrats will need to vote in favor of the bill in order for it to pass.

“We want to be there for the woman, and we know we need a law to protect the children,” Dannenfelser said.

Dannenfelser worried that lack of media attention could lead to the bill failing in either the House or Senate.

“The only way that media bias could really kill this is by not reporting it at all, which is, of course, one tactic that happens a lot. That would be something of concern,” Dannenfelser said.

Dannenfelser also said the legislation was easy to understand, and that many outlets are doing a great job of keeping attention on this form of legislation.

“But I’m finding mainstream outlets with reporters that they understand why it resonates. They basically get most of the arguments out and frankly, without the pressure of really good outlets, I don’t think that would have happened,” she said.

According to The Hill, the bill is sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., and would criminalize abortionists who perform the procedure on women past 20 weeks of pregnancy with exceptions for rape, incest and risk to the mother’s life. The bill will not punish women seeking an abortion.