Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham Proposes Banning Abortion at 15 Weeks Nationwide

Washington- Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina introduced legislation Tuesday that would ban abortions nationwide after 15 weeks of pregnancy, adopting tougher restrictions on the procedure just as Democrats seek to raise the issue of abortion rights sooner. of the November elections.

the invoice Graham’s is a tougher version of a proposal he and other Republicans put forward last year that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Called the Pain Capable Unborn Children Protection Act Against Late-Term Abortions, the new measure bars doctors from performing abortions five weeks earlier in a pregnancy, after 15 weeks. It includes exceptions for abortions that are necessary to save the life of the mother or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, and would leave more restrictive state laws intact.

Graham appeared alongside anti-abortion rights advocates to introduce the legislation on Capitol Hill, telling reporters that his proposal will bring the United States in line with most European nations that impose limits on abortion.

“Abortion is not prohibited in the United States. It is left to elected officials in the United States to define the issue,” he said. “States have the ability to do it at the state level, and we have the ability in Washington to speak on this issue if we so choose. I chose to speak. I chose to craft legislation that I think is eminently reasonable in the eyes of the world and I hope the American people.”

Senator Lindsey Graham Abortion Bill
Senator Lindsey Graham speaks during her press conference on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, September 13, 2022.

Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to commit to bringing the bill to a vote if Republicans win control of the Senate for the next Congress.

“I think most members of my conference prefer to have this dealt with at the state level,” he told reporters.

Graham’s bill comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s blockbuster decision in June chill out the constitutional right to abortion. The ruling by the high court’s conservative majority left abortion policy in the hands of the states, and the decision was applauded by anti-abortion rights advocates who have long said the authority to regulate abortion rests with the state. American people through their elected officials.

Graham in June I call the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe is a “long-overdue constitutional correction that allows state officials to decide questions of life.” But his new proposal would reach from coast to coast, restricting abortion in states with greater access, such as New York and Pennsylvania, where laws allow abortions up to 24 weeks of pregnancy.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre rejected Graham’s proposed legislation, calling it “totally out of step with what Americans believe.”

“While President Biden and Vice President Harris are focused on the historic passage of the Reduce Inflation Act to lower the cost of prescription drugs, health care and energy, and take unprecedented steps to address climate change , Republicans in Congress are focused on taking rights from millions of women,” she said in a statement. “The president and vice president are fighting for progress, while the Republicans are fighting to get us back.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer denounced Graham’s measure on the Senate floor as a “radical bill” and said the plan sends a “clear message from MAGA Republicans to women across the country: your body, our choice”.

“For the extreme right, it has never been about states’ rights. It has never been about letting Texas go its own way while California goes another way,” Schumer said. “No, for MAGA Republicans, this has always been about making abortion illegal everywhere.”

However, the bill is unlikely to become law with Biden in the White House and Democrats in charge of Congress, as it would require the support of 60 senators to advance in the Senate. Democrats and Republicans each have 50 seats in the upper house, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting a tie-breaking vote, and a 15-week national abortion ban won’t win the support of 10 Democrats.

Additionally, two Republicans, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, support abortion rights. Even if the proposal could pass the Senate, it would stall in the House, where Democrats have a majority.

Graham acknowledged that his bill is unlikely to come to a vote with Democrats controlling both houses of Congress.

The attempt by Republican senators to curb access to abortion comes as the issue has emerged as a motivator for voters in the midterm elections.

A CBS News poll published last month found that 59% of likely voters said abortion is “very important” to their vote for Congress this year. A june poll CBS News, made after the Supreme Court reversed its nearly 50-year-old decision in Roe, found that 58% of voters favor a federal law legalizing abortion nationwide.

Democrats too throwing money on ads focused on abortion rights, spending roughly $30 million on more than 100 TV ads mentioning abortion since early May, according to AdImpact tracking.

Democratic candidates on the ballot in November quickly seized on Graham’s proposed ban, tying their Republican opponents to the legislation.

A spokesman for Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who is running against Dr. Mehmet Oz for a Senate seat, said voters there deserve to know whether Oz would support Graham’s bill if elected to the upper house. Similarly, a spokesman for Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, a Nevada Democrat defending her seat from a challenge from Republican Adam Laxalt, said Laxalt is an “automatic vote” in favor of a federal abortion ban.

Michigan Sen. Gary Peters, chairman of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, said Graham’s legislation will encourage voters to support Democrats in the midterm elections.

“The Republicans’ national abortion ban will be on the ballot, in every Senate race,” he said in a statement. “The Republican Party has once again demonstrated the threat it poses to women’s right to make their own health care decisions, and voters will make their voices heard by supporting Senate Democrats in November.” .

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