Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, is introducing a bill that if passed, would prohibit doctors around the country from performing an abortion after 15 weeks. There are exceptions for cases of rape, incest or risks to the life and physical health of the mother.
The Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act is very similar to a previous proposal from Graham that banned abortions after 20 weeks. He says this would better align the United States’ abortion policy with other countries around the world.
“At 15 weeks the science tells us that the nerve endings are developed to the point that the unborn child feels pain,” Graham said.
Graham’s bill requires doctors performing an abortion to make an assessment of the gestational age of the unborn child. It also explicitly states that psychological or emotional conditions of the abortion patient are not included in the list of exceptions.
It mandates a consent form be signed that states the pregnancy must be terminated in a manner that will most likely result in the baby being born alive. It also states that if the child is born alive, they must be given all the same medical care as children spontaneously born prematurely, including transportation to a hospital.
The act also allows the parents of minors upon whom an abortion was performed to take civil action against anyone who violated a provision in the bill. Pro-life organizations applauded the bill being introduced, although it is unlikely to be considered or taken up for a vote this congress.
“Democrats’ pro-abortion extremism flies in the face of American public opinion which strongly supports compassionate limits on abortion like those proposed today by Sen. Graham and Rep. Smith. 75% percent of women, 70% of Independents and 60% of rank-and-file Democrats support legislation to protect babies by at least 15 weeks,” Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement.
But it was met with immediate opposition from Democrats who said this is a nationwide abortion ban and that there is a big contrast between the two parties’ priorities.
“Republicans are twisting themselves in a pretzel trying to explain their position on abortion. Let me be clear, again, what Senator Graham is introducing is a MAGA Republican nationwide abortion ban,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, said.
Democratic leadership linked this bill with the MAGA Republican movement, something President Biden has been doing a lot during his political speeches over the last several weeks.
“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,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, said in a statement.