U.S. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania said he supports a bill set for a vote Monday night that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The bill makes exceptions for cases of rape or incest or when continuing the pregnancy would put a woman’s life at risk.
It’s not expected to receive the 60 votes it needs to advance in the Senate, where Republicans hold 51 seats. Casey, a self-described “pro-life Democrat” who is up for re-election this year, said his plan to vote in favor of the measure is consistent with his vote for a similar bill the Senate rejected in 2015. The House has passed three similar bills since 2013 that didn’t receive Senate approval.
“This isn’t something new,” Casey said. “The Republicans bring up a bill like this kind of on short notice, and they don’t often allow the kind of debate that should take place.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced last week the Senate would take up the bill, which passed the House of Representatives in October.
Some abortion rights activists planned to protest outside Casey’s offices in Pennsylvania on Monday, and they were circulating online petitions asking him to vote against the limits.
Casey said he would rather have seen Senate Republicans take up other matters first, including funding for community health centers, which runs out on Feb. 8.
Casey was in Philadelphia on Monday urging continued congressional funding for these clinics, which provide health care to about 27 million low-income Americans. He said about 800,000 Pennsylvanians depend on community health centers for care.