Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced a bill Tuesday that might ban most abortions nationwide starting at 15 weeks of pregnancy.
The South Carolina senator introduced the bill lower than three months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that established the constitutional right to abortion. The measure would sharply narrow abortion access in quite a few states — especially blue states, which are inclined to have more abortion rights protections.
related investing news
The Fed is facing a growing split in opinions on what it should do next
The laws has little likelihood of passing Congress because it currently stands, as Democrats hold slim majorities in each the House and Senate.
It arrives ahead of the pivotal November midterm elections, where expectations of a Republican rout have been thrown into doubt as evidence mounts that the reversal of Roe has galvanized Democratic voters. Abortion rights advocates have warned that a GOP takeover of Congress would result in an erosion of girls’s rights, and lots of were quick to carry up Graham’s bill as a first-rate example.
Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Republican who would resolve whether to carry a vote on a nationwide abortion ban if the GOP wins the chamber in November, was reluctant to embrace Graham’s bill.
“I believe a lot of the members of my conference prefer that this will likely be handled on the state level,” McConnell told reporters Tuesday afternoon. Other GOP senators have offered mixed messages on the bill.
While the title of Graham’s bill suggests it could bar only “late-term” abortions, it could restrict the procedure nationwide after lower than 4 months of pregnancy, a threshold that falls throughout the second trimester.
Abortions are typically considered “late term” at 21 weeks of pregnancy or later, according the health-policy nonprofit KFF. However the organization notes that that phrase is just not an official medical term and that abortions at that stage are rarely sought and difficult to acquire.
The 15-week limit precedes the purpose of fetal viability, generally considered to be about 24 weeks’ gestation. The Supreme Court ruled in Roe that ladies have the fitting to acquire an abortion before viability, and that states can begin to impose restrictions after that time.
Within the June ruling Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the high court by a 5-4 margin struck down Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, one other case upholding abortion rights. The ruling, by a court that had grown way more conservative after the appointment of three of former President Donald Trump’s nominees, gave individual states the ability to set their abortion policies.
Quite a few Republican-leaning states immediately moved to ban abortion outright, while many Democratic leaders have sought to enshrine protections for the procedure.
Graham, an in depth Trump ally, had previously expressed support for states setting their very own abortion laws. “That, in my opinion, is probably the most constitutionally sound way of coping with this issue and the best way america handled the problem until 1973,” Graham tweeted in May.
But Graham has also introduced laws to limit abortion on the national level — though his 2021 bill would have banned abortion after 20 weeks, moderately than the 15-week limit in the present version.
“Abortion is a contentious issue. Post Dobbs, America’s got to make a choice,” Graham said at a press conference Tuesday unveiling the brand new laws.
“States have the power to do it at a state level, and we’ve got the power in Washington to talk on this issue if we elect,” he said. “I actually have chosen to talk.”
On the 15-week mark, Graham said, the fetus has developed enough to feel pain from an abortion. After that time, his bill would allow no abortions except in cases of rape or incest or to avoid wasting the lifetime of the mother. “And that must be where America’s at,” the senator said.
Graham was flanked by the leaders of multiple anti-abortion groups, including Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser.
“That is incredible progress, but way more motion is required,” Dannenfelser said in a press release.
The White House slammed Graham in a press release later Tuesday, calling the bill “wildly out of step with what Americans imagine” and touting the Biden administration’s legislative goals while accusing Republicans of “taking rights away from hundreds of thousands of girls.”
Pro-abortion rights groups echoed that sentiment, while tying the problem on to the midterm elections.
“Anti-abortion rights congressional Republicans are showing us exactly what they plan to do in the event that they get power: pass a national abortion ban,” Planned Parenthood CEO Alexis McGill Johnson said in a press release.
“We would really like to thank Senator Graham for making it crystal clear to voters today that Republicans are running on a national abortion ban in these midterms,” said Dani Negrete, national political director of the progressive advocacy group Indivisible.
Polls show attitudes on abortion shifting toward the “pro alternative” position after the Dobbs ruling. Some Republican candidates who previously touted hardline positions on abortion during GOP primaries have softened or muted their views as they compete basically elections.
Democratic candidates, similar to Pennsylvania Senate nominee John Fetterman, have leaned into the problem.
“Dr. Oz has made it *very* clear that he wants to remove women’s reproductive freedom,” Fetterman tweeted Tuesday about his Republican opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz. “With the GOP introducing a national abortion ban, it’s now more vital than ever that we stop him in November.”