Alabama senators split on abortion bill vote; Sen. Jones votes against bill Sen. Shelby co-sponsored

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WASHINGTON D.C. – Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) publicly split with his colleague Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) for one of the first times on a bill that would essentially ban abortions after 20 weeks.

A procedural vote that would have brought the bill to the floor fell well short of the 60 votes needed, though it did receive a majority. The final vote tally was 51-46.

The bill was brought by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC); Sen. Shelby was one of the bill’s 46 cosponsors.

The bill, called S.2311 or the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, would make it a federal crime to perform an abortion after 20 weeks of gestation, with penalties including a fine, up to five years in prison or both.

The bill does provide exceptions for abortions that would be necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. It would not allow prosecutors to pursue charges against women who underwent the procedure.

Sen. Shelby called the outcome of the vote “disappointing.”

After the vote, the Alabama GOP Chair Terry Lathan said in a statement, “”After today’s vote, we now see Senator Doug Jones’ true colors. We will not forget his vote to block this bill banning late-term abortions. It is disgraceful that Senator Jones, who claims to want to ‘give voice to the challenges that face so many of our most vulnerable Americans’ would refuse to be a voice for the most vulnerable of them all: innocent lives in the womb.”

Senator Jones sent WHNT News 19 a statement, reading, “As I’ve said many times before, I believe this is a deeply personal choice for any woman to make. A woman’s freedom to choose was recognized by the Supreme Court 45 years ago. I do not support any efforts that would undermine that ruling.”