(LifeNews) With Republicans supporting it and Democrats opposed, a House committee has passed a bill that would ban abortions nationwide at 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Much of the debate focused on weaking amendments by Democrats who hoped to gut the bill and allow late-term abortions in cases to protect a woman’s health — even though abortions after 20 weeks are not necessary for health reasons and would allow virtually all late-term abortions to remain legal.

The committee passed the bill on a 20-12 vote and the measure now heads to the full House floor where it is expected to receive a debate and vote next week.

Also during the debate, lawmakers turned back efforts by Democrats to add a rape and incest exception to the late-term abortion ban. Rep. Trent Franks, an Arizona Republican who is the bill sponsor, said an unborn baby would be killed regardless of how she was conceived.

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