Graham to Introduce Bill That Would Restrict Abortions Nationwide

Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (RS.C.) will make public Tuesday his plans to introduce a bill in the Senate that would ban abortions nationwide, one that is expected to restrict procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancyaccording to several anti-abortion advocates with knowledge of internal discussions.

Graham will be joined at a news conference at noon Tuesday by Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, along with other anti-abortion leaders. Representatives for Graham and the Susan B. Anthony group did not immediately respond to questions Tuesday morning.

The name of her bill, which includes the nonmedical phrase “late-term abortions,” drew strong criticism from abortion-rights activists. Used almost exclusively by anti-abortion activists, the phrase is usually it is understood to refer to abortions between or after 21 and 24 weeks of pregnancy.

“15 weeks is not a ‘late deadline,’ particularly given the significant challenges to access across the country,” Christina Reynolds, vice president of communications for Emily’s List, wrote in a tweet.

While most people have abortions earlier in pregnancy, abortion bans at 15 and 20 weeks disproportionately affect patients with fetal abnormalities, which are often detected at an anatomical scan in the 20s. weeks, along with those who take longer to realize they are pregnant. These types of bans will also affect more people in a post-Roe America as abortion clinics struggle to accommodate a surge of patients from states where abortion is now banned.

Democrats were quick to respond to reports of Graham’s efforts with anger and swore that the measure would go nowhere.

“I will block any effort in the Senate to promote a nationwide abortion ban, full stop,” tweeted Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), who is locked in a tough re-election bid. “We don’t need more male politicians telling women what we can and can’t do with our own bodies.”

“I will never understand the Republican obsession with what goes on in your bedroom or your doctor’s office, but I know it’s not even remotely government owned. Your right to privacy is fundamental,” said Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.) tweeted.

The timing of Graham’s announcement is curious, two months after most Republicans justified the Supreme Court’s decision. june decision overturn Roe vs. Wade arguing that the right to abortion should be left to the states. It will also come two months before the midterm elections, after abortion has already proven to be a rousing issue for some Democratic voters. While Republicans have generally praised the ruling’s overturning Roemany have he preferred not to focus on the subject before midterms.

Last month, Kansas voters flatly rejected a referendum that would have allowed state lawmakers to regulate abortion, the first time state voters decided on such an amendment since Roe was annulled. In the past week, South Carolina Republicans fell short in his bid for a near total ban on abortion in the state. Planned Parenthood announced last month that it plans spend a record $50 million in an effort to elect abortion-rights supporters across the country this November, banking on the belief that abortion will help generate Democratic voters.

Additionally, several red states already have stricter bans. The “trigger laws” restricting or banning abortion took effect immediately after Roe was overturned in at least eight states, and several others are in various stages of legal limbo. Last month, Indiana passed a near total ban on abortionthe first to do it after Roe was shot down.

Before the Supreme Court struck down Roe vs. Wade In June, many Republican lawmakers and advocates had been pushing for a strict national ban on “heartbeat” abortions, which would have made the procedure illegal after heart activity is detected, around six weeks into the pregnancy. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) had been planning backstage to introduce legislation.

But months after the landmark abortion ruling, those plans have quietly fizzled out. While that bill is being drafted, there is no timeline that Ernst or any other senator introduce it, according to several anti-abortion advocates close to the situation.

Instead, some leading anti-abortion advocates hope Republicans will rally around a 15-week ban, long denounced by many in the anti-abortion movement because it would allow the vast majority of abortions to go ahead.

Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, said she hopes Graham’s bill will be “universally accepted,” offering a path forward that a variety of Republican senators can support.

“I think the place to start is where Graham starts,” Dannenfelser said in an interview before Graham’s bill was released. “Graham is the momentum and it will increase when he presents [his bill].”

Some Republicans aren’t so sure. Since the Supreme Court decision, many have publicly said they believe abortion should be left to the states.

Even before an anti-abortion amendment was resoundingly defeated in his home state, Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) told The Washington Post that he doubted there was a future for any kind of national abortion ban.

“I just don’t see the momentum at the federal level,” Marshall said in an interview on July 25. “I think the legislative priority should be in the states.”

Republicans have been forced to reckon with a growing trove of data suggesting that abortion could be a decisive issue in the midterm elections, motivating Democratic and independent voters much more than expected. Candidates who support abortion rights have outperformed in recent special elections, while key battleground states have seen an increase in the number of women Democrats and independents registering to vote.

Some Republicans have become increasingly reluctant to discuss the national abortion ban on the campaign trail. In Arizona, Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters has removed any mention of his support for a “federal personality law” from his website, legislation that would likely have banned abortion nationwide after conception. . Masters’ website now says he would support a ban on third-trimester abortions, around 27 weeks of pregnancy, a much more popular position.

Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America applauded the change in a press releasesaying Masters “legitimately focused his position on what can be accomplished at the federal level.”

Abortion rights groups have seized on the looming threat of a national abortion ban, hoping to mobilize voters around the issue across the country, including those in states where abortion rights are protected.

“For anyone in a state where abortion is not yet restricted or prohibited, we want to say especially to those voters: ‘This is everyone’s problem. It could also come to your state if you vote against efforts to protect abortion,’” said Jacqueline Ayers, senior vice president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

In both the House and Senate, Republicans are debating other kinds of abortion legislation that might be easier to pass than a nationwide ban.

Rep. Michelle Fischbach (R-Minn.), co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, said in an interview that members have been discussing first-of-its-kind legislation that would give federal funding to crisis pregnancy centers, anti-abortion organizations who try to discourage women from having abortions and sometimes offer diapers and other aids to new mothers.

Rachel Roubein and Marianna Sotomayor contributed to this report.

Leave a Comment