Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced a bill to the Senate Thursday that would completely outlaw abortion in almost all cases, with no exceptions even in cases of rape or incest. This bill would also invalidate every single state law that allows women to terminate their pregnancies, including laws that allow late-term abortions when a pregnancy threatens the woman’s life or health, when the fetus has severe developmental issues, or in cases of fetal abnormality. The only exception this bill makes is if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest and it has been reported to authorities within 48 hours.
Sen. Lindsey Graham of the Republican Party unveiled a plan on Tuesday that would outlaw most abortions beginning at 15 weeks of pregnancy nationally.
Less than three months after the Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade, the seminal decision that established the constitutional right to abortion, the senator from South Carolina submitted the measure. The bill would drastically reduce access to abortion in many states, notably blue ones, which typically have stronger protections for abortion rights.
As it is, the proposal has little chance of passing Congress because Democrats only have a narrow majority in the House and Senate.
It comes just before the crucial midterm elections in November, when predictions of a Republican sweep have been cast into doubt because to mounting evidence that the Roe decision has energised Democratic voters. A GOP control of Congress would result in a loss of women’s rights, abortion rights activists have warned, and many have pointed to Graham’s bill as an example.
Tuesday afternoon, McConnell told reporters that “I think most of the members of my conference prefer that this will be dealt with at the state level.” On the measure, several GOP senators have expressed conflicting opinions.
While Graham’s plan would limit abortions nationally after fewer than four months of pregnancy, which is inside the second trimester, its title implies that it would exclusively prohibit “late-term” abortions.
According to the health-policy group KFF, abortions are commonly regarded as “late term” when they occur at least 21 weeks into pregnancy. However, the group points out that the phrase is not a recognised medical word and that abortions at that point are uncommon and challenging to get.
The point of foetal viability, commonly thought to be about 24 weeks gestation, is before the 15-week restriction. Before viability, women have the right to an abortion, and after that, states are free to impose limits, according to the Supreme Court’s Roe decision.
Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a different case protecting abortion rights, were both overturned by the Supreme Court in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision from June, which was decided 5-4. The decision provided individual states the authority to choose their own abortion laws. The court that made the decision had become much more conservative as a result of the confirmation of three of former President Donald Trump’s nominees.
While many Democratic leaders have pushed to cement rights for the practise, numerous Republican-leaning states have moved to outright outlaw abortion.
Graham, a staunch supporter of Trump, had previously stated his preference for individual state abortion legislation. Graham stated in a tweet from May that “it is, in my opinion, the most constitutionally sound means of dealing with this matter and the way the United States handled the subject until 1973.”
Graham, meanwhile, has also presented legislation to limit abortion on a national basis; however, his 2021 measure would have prohibited abortion after 20 weeks, as opposed to the current bill’s 15-week restriction.
“Abortion is a hotly debated topic. At a news conference on Tuesday to introduce the new legislation, Graham said, “Post Dobbs, America’s got to make a decision.
“States may do it at the state level, and we can speak on this matter in Washington if we so desire,” he added. I’ve decided to talk.
Graham said that the foetus is ready to experience pain from an abortion at the 15-week stage. After that, his law would only permit abortions in instances of rape, incest, or to save the mother’s life. And it ought to be the focus for America, the senator added.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, and other anti-abortion group leaders surrounded Graham.
In a statement, Dannenfelser stated, “This is fantastic progress, but much more effort is needed.
In a statement later on Tuesday, the White House attacked Graham, calling the legislation “wildly out of sync with what Americans feel” and praising the legislative objectives of the Biden administration while accusing Republicans of “taking rights away from millions of women.”
That feeling was shared by pro-choice organisations, who also linked the subject to the upcoming midterm elections.
Planned Parenthood CEO Alexis McGill Johnson stated in a statement that “anti-abortion rights congressional Republicans are telling us precisely what they plan to do if they get into power: impose a national abortion ban.”
Dani Negrete, national political director of the progressive advocacy organisation Indivisible, stated, “We would want to congratulate Senator Graham for making it crystal obvious to voters today that Republicans are campaigning on a nationwide abortion ban in these midterm elections.”
After the Dobbs decision, polls indicate that sentiments about abortion are changing in favour of the “pro choice” side. Republican candidates running in general elections have softened or toned down their views on abortion from when they ran in the GOP primaries.
Democratic candidates have taken a stand on the subject, such Pennsylvania’s contender for the Senate, John Fetterman.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, a Republican opponent of Fetterman’s, “has made it very apparent that he wants to take away women’s reproductive rights,” the former congressman tweeted on Tuesday. “It’s now more crucial than ever that we stop him in November after the GOP introduced a countrywide ban on abortion.”