The House of Representatives voted down a bill on Tuesday night that would have prohibited women in Washington, D.C. from getting abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, even in cases involving rape or incest.
The bill received 220-154 votes, but because the Republicans brought it up under a suspension of House rules, it did not receive the two-thirds majority needed to pass.
Notably, the vote occurred a day before a key provision of the Affordable Care Act goes into effect, expanding preventive health care coverage for women.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) said on Tuesday's The Rachel Maddow Show that though the bill only would have affected women in D.C., "the proponents of the legislation said that it was landmark, and it was laying the foundation of what they want to do around the country."
As host Rachel Maddow pointed out, a few Republicans have been anonymously criticizing party leadership for bringing up this bill when they should be focusing on the economy. “Leadership told us that the ‘get out of town’ week messaging was ‘stop the tax hike.’" a Republican told Buzzfeed last week. "It baffles many of us that they would muddy that messaging by scheduling an abortion bill vote.”
“Obama raising taxes is supposed to be the message of the week … not this,” said another Republican.
Schakowsky, for her part, told Maddow that it didn't mean much that Republicans were privately objecting to the vote. "I honestly don't care if they're frustrated. Only six Republicans voted against the bill. Whining doesn't count in the end."
"I don't remember a time when there's been such impunity to speak about women and women's bodies and women's rights and women's paychecks like there is right now," Schakowsky continued. "I don't know what has happened to give these people permission to take out of backrooms onto the house floor these kinds of conversations."