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Lindsey Graham stuns senate proposing new national abortion restrictions bill

Image Credit: Gage Skidmore Flickr

With less than two months until the midterm elections, Graham’s proposal comes at a time when abortion is anticipated to be a key issue for voters following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Republican candidates have worked to get rid of the extreme anti-abortion positions they adopted during their primaries around the country, but especially in swing states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Colorado, Arizona, and North Carolina.

On Tuesday, Senate Republicans led by Lindsey Graham (R-SC) filed federal anti-abortion legislation – the first of its sort since the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade in June. The Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act forbids abortion beyond 15 weeks of pregnancy, with few exceptions for rape, incest, and to save the pregnant person’s life. A doctor who breaks the law faces up to five years in prison.

Patients must demonstrate that they have sought counseling or medical care, or that they have reported the assault to law police or a government entity, in order to qualify for the rape exemption. Patients suffering from a life-threatening mental illness are not eligible for the life exemption.

At  a press conference on Tuesday, Graham described the plan as a “counterproposal” to Democrats’ efforts to restore abortion protections nationwide. The initiative  comes just two months before the midterm elections, when Republicans in battleground states are attempting to maneuver a growing voter backlash to the Supreme Court decision while also making an appeal to the party’s grassroots, which is pushing for immediate action on implementing outright abortion bans. Graham nodded in agreement, pointing out that a more stringent prohibition wouldn’t be well-liked by the majority of voters.” We’re attempting to adopt a stance that, in our opinion, will inspire the nation to show more compassion for an unborn child,” Graham added.

January 6, 2015 Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) raises his right hand as Vice-President Joe Biden (D) administers the oath of office to Graham on opening day of the 114th Congress

While replacing laws that safeguard abortion in blue states, the bill would keep state regulations that are more restrictive. Graham argued that the Supreme Court made the right choice in leaving abortion decisions up to the states, and elected people, such as members of Congress, have the authority to define and regulate abortion. While Democrats are in charge of the Senate, the bill has no chance of passing. A countrywide ban on abortion would require 60 votes to pass since Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has stated he will not repeal the filibuster in the event the Republicans gain control of the chamber. Graham stated at a briefing that “we should have a law at the federal level.” “I can tell you that there will be a vote if we take the House and Senate.”

Nancy Pelosi said today, “The nationwide abortion ban proposal put forth today is the latest, clearest signal of extreme MAGA Republicans’ intent to criminalize women’s health freedom in all 50 states and arrest doctors for providing basic care.”


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