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Senate rejects ban on federal funding of abortions

A flag flies outside the U.S. Capitol Building. (STOCK PHOTO)

The U.S. Senate rejected a bill that would have permanently banned federal funding for abortions Thursday.

Alabama’s Sen. Richard Shelby, a Republican, voted for the measure, while Alabama Sen. Doug Jones, a Democrat, voted against the pro-life bill. The measure required the support of 60 Senators.The bill also would have banned Obamacare subsidies for insurance plans that cover abortion.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) brought up the anti-abortion vote Thursday, one day before “March for Life,” the annual march against abortion in Washington.

A vote to open debate on the bill failed 48-47.

Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) broke with their party to vote against the measure while Democratic Senators Bob Casey (Pennsylvania) and Joe Manchin (West Virginia) voted with the Republicans.

Alabama is a very pro-life state and Doug Jones’ no vote will likely be an issue next year when he seeks reelection.

Alabama’s State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) said, “The abortion vote shows again that Doug Jones does not represent the people of Alabama. Jones is for abortion up to the moment of birth. Alabama people are pro-life.”

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Zeigler is a potential candidate for Senate against Jones in 2020. He formed an exploratory campaign testing the water eyeing the senate race.

“Today, Senate Democrats blocked a bill that would permanently end taxpayer funding of abortion,” Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) said. “I was especially disappointed that one of the votes against the pro-life bill came from Doug Jones, one of Alabama’s senators. Standing up for the unborn and opposing abortion is a core Alabama value, and today’s vote shows the urgent need for more pro-life Senators.”

“This vote was especially notable as thousands of people from across the country, including hundreds from Alabama, will march in the streets of Washington, D.C. tomorrow in support of life,” Byrne continued. “As long as I am able to represent the people of Alabama, I will always fight for those who can’t fight for themselves and be a leader for pro-life policies.”

Congressman Byrne is also reportedly considering running for U.S. Senate against Doug Jones. Jones defeated former Chief Justice Roy Moore in a special election in December 2017. Republicans are determined to compete to take the Alabama Senate seat back.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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