Sen. Lindsey Graham put out legislation on Tuesday to outlaw abortions beyond 15 weeks, a politically dangerous move given the backlash over the US Supreme Court decision to eliminate federal safeguards for the practice earlier this summer.
The “Protecting Pain-capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act” is Graham’s extreme Republican proposal from South Carolina. With less than 60 days until the midterm elections, observers believe it is an attempt to frame the conversation around abortion despite the fact that it has virtually little chance of becoming law.
According to polling, 57% of Americans disagree with the court’s decision to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision ensuring access to abortion, and 62% believe it should be allowed in all or most circumstances.
Graham’s initiatives were swiftly denounced by the White House and leading Democrats.
Today, Senator Graham unveiled a bill that would outlaw abortion nationwide and take away women’s rights in each of the 50 states. According to a statement from White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, this law is drastically at odds with what Americans think.
Republicans in Congress are focused on removing rights from millions of women, she continued. “While President Biden and Vice-President Harris are focused on the historic passage of the Inflation Reduction Act to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, health care, and energy – and to take unprecedented action to address climate change,” she said.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Graham unveiled a new version of his measure that would restrict abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy instead of the previous 20 weeks, in an effort to bring federal law into line with Florida’s.
In contrast to Florida law, Graham’s prior plans included exceptions for rape, incest, and safeguarding the life of the mother.
The plan by Graham, which was criticized by Nancy Pelosi and other members of her party, was described as “the latest, clearest indicator of extreme Maga Republicans’ aim to criminalize women’s health freedom in all 50 states and imprison physicians for delivering essential care.”
Make no mistake, said Pelosi, “Republicans will strive to establish restrictions even harsher than those in this bill if they get the chance, much like the prohibitions they have implemented in places like Texas, Mississippi, and Oklahoma.”
Graham’s measure is unlikely to succeed even if Republicans take over the Senate in November since Mitch McConnell, the current minority leader, has stated he would be hesitant to abolish the filibuster – a process that needs a bill to garner the approval of 60 senators – for the abortion problem.