The Republican-controlled United States House of Representatives has approved a legislation to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, one of the most stringent pro-life bills to pass a Congressional chamber in a decade.
However, the bill is unlikely to see the light of the day given the veto threat by the White House and the opposition to it by the Democratic Party, which has a majority in the senate.
For any legislation to be formed into a law, it needs to be passed by both the chambers of the Congress -- the house of representatives and the senate -- and signed into law by the US president.
The Democratic national committee chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, said the Republican party in the house is once again attempting to force their extremist ideology on American women.
"The house Republicans passed the most extreme abortion legislation that Congress has passed in the last decade," she said. The House Democratic Whip Steny H Hoyer expressed his deep disappointment over the passage of the bill.
"I am deeply disappointed that Republicans once again spent time debating and voting on a bill to restrict women's access to health care when they continue to block the consideration of bills that would invest in creating jobs and replace the sequester with a balanced alternative," he said.
"Their governing priorities are as out of touch as their approach to women's health. This bill, which is unconstitutional, has no chance of being considered in the senate or reaching the president's desk," Hoyer said.
However, the House Majority leader, Eric Cantor said the house acted to protect life and stop the dangerous practice of late-term abortions.
"This bipartisan measure will protect unborn children who can experience pain after 5 months. We must stand together, Republicans and Democrats alike, to protect the most vulnerable among us, especially these mothers and their innocent children," he said.