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Numerous polls show a large majority of Americans (both men and women) oppose this gruesome practice.

WASHINGTON – Senate Democrats blocked Republican legislation Tuesday prohibiting most late-term abortions, the second time since this summer’s release of videos involving Planned Parenthood that they’ve derailed an abortion-related drive by the GOP.

Senators voted 54-42 to move ahead on the legislation, but that fell six short of the 60 votes needed to advance the bill. With Republicans holding 54 Senate seats and the two parties sharply divided over abortion, the outcome was no surprise. But the showdown afforded each side an opportunity to highlight its willingness to fight to its most loyal voters and contributors.

Tuesday’s vote came less than 48 hours before a first-ever papal address to Congress. Pope Francis leads a Catholic church that rejects abortion. The vote also came with the fight over Planned Parenthood and abortion enmeshed in presidential election politics and in an approaching fight over avoiding a government shutdown.