Washington (CNN) - Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal blocked a non-binding abortion resolution on Wednesday offered by Republican Senator Mike Lee saying, "This problem is broader than the issue cited in Senator Lee's resolution."
Introduced to the Senate on Monday, Lee said his resolution was in response to the trial of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, who is accused by authorities of killing four babies born-alive during botched abortions. The measure calls for a review of abortion policies to prevent these sorts of incidents from occurring again.
Blumenthal criticized Lee's resolution saying it focused too narrowly on abortion medical misconduct, and should instead focus on all instances of patient safety. He cited as examples an Oklahoma dentist who exposed 7,000 patients to HIV and Hepatitis B and C through unsanitary practices and a nursing director in California who inappropriately medicated patients using anti-psychotic drugs, resulting in the death of a patient.
"These incidents as alleged are willful violations of law, violations of human dignity and decency that ought to shock the conscience of the nation every bit to its core as much as the alleged misconduct and potential criminal activity in Pennsylvania," Blumenthal argued.
Blumenthal introduced his own resolution as an alternative solution, saying it would take as common ground the alleged Pennsylvania misconduct and also include other instances where basic standards of care, decency and trust are violated.
"What I'm suggesting is a resolution that includes those criminals who may be posing as health care practitioners in one field of practice but extends the condemnation to all areas of practice." Blumenthal also argued that the wording in his resolution did not focus on Gosnell, who has yet to be prosecuted.
Lee's office released a press release Wednesday in response to Blumenthal's objection, which blocked Lee's resolution from receiving unanimous consent to proceed to a vote in the Senate.
"It is difficult to imagine why anyone would object to a non-binding resolution calling on Congress to investigate these alleged disturbing, horrific, and illegal abortion practices committed by Kermit Gosnell and others," said Lee in the press release.
According to The Hill newspaper, Lee objected to Blumenthal's alternative resolution saying he didn't have time to read it before it was offered.