SALEM - Oregon Senate Republicans have failed to force a debate on a bill to make it a crime to harm a fetus.

The measure was introduced in response to a widely publicized case in which an Oregon woman was accused of murdering a pregnant woman and cutting her unborn child from her womb.

On Friday, Republican senators used a parliamentary procedure to try to bring the bill out of committee for debate on the floor. They said Oregon should join 36 states and the federal government in making it a crime to harm a fetus.

The Senate's majority Democrats voted to reject the maneuver, however. Such maneuvers have seldom succeeded over the years.

The action raises doubts the measure will emerge before a scheduled June 30 adjournment.

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