The House is girding for another wrenching debate on abortion after a House panel approved legislation that would ban almost all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The bill, named the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act", was headed for a House vote as early as next week after the Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to approve it.
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Republicans, led by Trent Franks of Arizona, argued that fetuses can feel pain after five months of pregnancy, justifying a ban on later abortions.
But several recent court decisions have struck down similar state laws, saying they violate a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy before a fetus is viable.
House Republican leaders, now focused on jobs-related legislation and investigating administration scandals, have so far shown little appetite for divisive social issues.
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