Republican Senator Lindsey Graham recommend an invoice Tuesday will ban most abortions nationwide starting at week 15 of pregnancy.
The South Carolina senator introduced the bill less than three months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a landmark ruling establishing the constitutional right to abortion. This measure would significantly narrow abortion access in many states – especially the blue states, which tend to be more protective of abortion rights.
The bill has little chance of passing Congress as it does now, as Democrats hold a small majority in both the House and Senate.
It comes ahead of the pivotal midterm elections in November, where expectations of a Republican election have been questioned as evidence that Roe’s reversal has left Democratic voters feeling uneasy. feel interested. Abortion rights advocates have warned that a GOP takeover of Congress would lead to the erosion of women’s rights, and many were quick to point to Graham’s bill as a prime example.
Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Republican who will decide whether to hold a vote on a nationwide abortion ban if the GOP wins the election in November, is reluctant to accept the project. Graham’s law.
“I think most members of my conference like that this is going to be addressed at the state level,” McConnell told reporters Tuesday afternoon. Other GOP senators have given mixed messages about the bill.
Although the Graham bill’s title suggests it would only ban “late” abortions, it would restrict the procedure nationally to less than four months of pregnancy, a threshold that falls in the second trimester.
According to the health policy nonprofit, abortion is generally considered “late” by the 21st week of pregnancy. KFF. But the organization notes that phrase is not an official medical term, and that abortions at that stage are rarely sought after and hard to obtain.
Limited to 15 weeks prior to the time of fetal viability, generally considered a gestational age of about 24 weeks. The Supreme Court has ruled in Roe that women have the right to have an abortion before it becomes viable, and states can begin imposing restrictions after that.
In Dobbs’ June ruling against the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the high court 5-4 downed Roe and Planned Parenthood against Casey, another case in favor of abortion rights. The ruling, of a court that has become much more conservative after appointing three former Presidents Donald TrumpThe nominees, have given individual states the power to set their own abortion policies.
Many Republican-leaning states immediately switched Ban on abortion completelywhile many Democratic leaders have sought to defend the procedure.
Graham, a close Trump ally, has previously expressed support for states to come up with their own abortion laws. “In my view that was the most constitutional way to deal with this and the way the US handled it until 1973,” Graham tweeted in May.
But Graham also introduced legislation restricting abortion at the national level – though Invoices for 2021 will ban abortion after 20 weeks, instead of the 15 week limit in the current version.
“Abortion is a controversial issue. Post Dobbs, the United States has to make a decision,” Graham said at Tuesday’s news conference announcing the new law.
“Countries have the ability to do that at the state level, and we have the ability in Washington to talk about this if we choose to,” he said. “I chose to speak.”
At 15 weeks, the fetus has developed enough to feel the pain of an abortion, says Graham. After that point, his bill would not allow abortion except in cases of rape or incest or to save the mother’s life. “And that has to be where America is,” the senator said.
Graham is supported by leaders of many anti-abortion groups, including Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America President, Marjorie Dannenfelser.
“This is amazing progress, but much more needs to be done,” Dannenfelser said in a statement.
The White House criticized Graham in a statement later on Tuesday, calling the bill “totally out of line with what Americans believe” and promoting the Biden administration’s legislative goals while accusing the party of The republic “deprived millions of women of their rights”.
Abortion rights groups have echoed that view, linking the issue directly to the midterm elections.
“Anti-abortion Republicans are showing us exactly what they plan to do if in power: pass a national abortion ban,” Planned Parenthood CEO Alexis McGill Johnson said in a statement. declare.
“We want to thank Senator Graham for making it clear to voters today that Republicans are implementing a national abortion ban during these midterms,” said Dani Negrete, director of national politics member of the progressive advocacy group Indivisible, said.
Opinion poll attitudes about abortion shifted to a “pro-choice” stance following the Dobbs ruling. Several Republican candidates who have previously taken a hard line on abortion in the GOP primaries have soft or mute their views as they compete in general elections.
Democratic candidates, such as Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman, have leaned toward the issue.
“Dr Oz has made it clear that he wants to take away women’s reproductive freedom,” Fetterman tweeted Tuesday of his Republican opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz. “With the GOP introducing a national abortion ban, it’s more important than ever that we stop him by November.”