On the one-year anniversary of the trial of Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortionist convicted of murdering infants after they were born, the Senate's top Republican called for a vote on legislation prohibiting most abortions later than 20 weeks after conception, the point at which human beings are viable and can feel pain. Kentucky senator Mitch McConnell said in a statement:
"It was one year ago this week that Americans across the country first learned the name of a Philadelphia abortionist named Kermit Gosnell. The Gosnell trial shocked the conscience of the nation and awakened many to the dangerous conditions that can exist at abortion clinics nationwide. It prompted a renewed commitment to ensuring that health and safety standards at these clinics are actually enforced, and it led to the humane effort to ensure that late-term babies who have developed to the point that they are capable of feeling pain are protected from rogue doctors and lax regulators alike. At the federal level, this effort resulted in the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which passed the House last summer in a historic pro-life vote. Senator Lindsey Graham has sponsored a companion bill in the Senate, and I am proud to stand with the Pro-Life Women’s Caucus in Congress and a clear majority of women nationwide in support of this common-sense legislation. It is time for America to join the ranks of most other developed nations around the world and restrict abortion at least at the point at which science tells us that unborn babies are capable of feeling pain. On this anniversary of the Gosnell trial, let’s show the world that we remember those who have been victimized by people like Kermit Gosnell and unite in this positive and life-affirming effort to safeguard the most vulnerable among us. Let’s take up this important pro-life legislation and send it to the President.”
McConnell's Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes has not said how she'd vote on the legislation. In 2013, Howard Fineman reported that Grimes told him "that she was pro-choice down the line on abortion." Grimes did not explicitly comment, however, on the House-passed bill prohibiting most abortions during the final four month's of pregnancy. On Wednesday, Grimes's campaign did not immediately respond to an email from THE WEEKLY STANDARD asking if she would vote for or against the measure.
National polls show that American voters strongly support a 20-week limit on abortion, and support for the legislation is likely even stronger in conservative states like Kentucky. Last week, in Kentucky's neighboring state of West Virginia, the state senate passed a 20-week abortion limit on a 29-5 vote. Democrats control the West Virginia state senate 24-10.