Lindsey Graham’s proposed 15-week abortion bill puts women at risk

Jordan Reid is the founding editor of Ramshackle Glam.
Liberal Opinion

Jordan Reid

Author; Founding Editor, Ramshackle Glam
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Just eight weeks before the midterm elections, Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., introduced a bill that would ban abortion after 15 weeks in most cases. With Democrats in control of Congress, the bill has little chance of passing and may have even given voters more incentive to turn out in November.

Straight Arrow News contributor Jordan Reid refers to American model Chrissy Teigen’s story to highlight the risks such a law would pose to women who find themselves with compromised pregnancies:

What do Lindsey Graham and Chrissy Teigen have in common? Very, very little – except they’re both on my mind today. Chrissy Teigen recently came under unsurprising, but still wildly demoralizing, online fire because she “came out” as saying that what she underwent when she tragically lost her child two years ago was not, as she initially believed, a miscarriage, but rather an abortion, to “save her life for a baby that had absolutely no chance.” 

Where does Lindsey Graham factor into this? He recently introduced a bill prohibiting abortions after 15 weeks at the federal level. Nationwide. 

Now, this bill will not pass – right now, anyway – but what this signals is devastating to me both generally, as a woman who believes in her right to her own body, and specifically, as a woman who has also lost a baby, and who would have, like Teigen, have undergone an abortion had that option been presented to me. 

I’ve discussed my ectopic pregnancy here before, but here’s what makes it pertinent to this conversation: I did not end up having an abortion, because I was misdiagnosed. I ended up having a life-threatening ruptured fallopian tube, and had to have emergency surgery to remove both the fetal tissue and part of my own reproductive organs. 

So would I have had an abortion? Would I have removed fetal tissue with absolutely zero chance of sustained life in order to prevent severe health consequences to myself? Absolutely. 

If you want to put it in a more selfless context, which I shouldn’t have to, but sure – would I have had an abortion to save my own life and prevent my two existing children from potentially growing up without their mother? Yes. And it shouldn’t be up to the state to decide just how much risk I’m willing to take with my own – and my children’s – lives. That’s my choice, if I want to risk my life or not. 

Not according to Lindsey Graham. Granted, his bill includes exceptions for rape, incest and pregnancies that threaten maternal health, but my question to Graham would be how, precisely, he defines maternal health. What risk is risk “enough”? 

What do Lindsey Graham and Chrissy Tiegen have in common? Very, very little – except they’re both on my mind today. Chrissy Tiegen recently came under unsurprising but still wildly demoralizing online fire because she “came out” as saying that what she underwent when she tragically lost her child two years ago was not, as she initially believed, a miscarriage, but rather an abortion. To, quote, “save her life for a baby that had absolutely no chance.” 

Where does Lindsey Graham factor into this? He recently introduced a bill prohibiting abortions after 15 weeks at the federal level. Nation-wide. 

Now, this bill will not pass – right now, anyway – but what this signals is devastating to me both generally, as a woman who believes in her right to her own body, and specifically, as a woman who has also lost a baby, and who would have, like Tiegen, have undergone an abortion had that option been presented to me. 

I’ve discussed my ectopic pregnancy here before, but here’s what makes it pertinent to this conversation: I did not end up having an abortion, because I was misdiagnosed. I ended up having a life-threatening ruptured fallopian tube, and had to have emergency surgery to remove both the fetal tissue and part of my own reproductive organs. 

So *would* I have had an abortion? Would I have removed fetal tissue with absolutely zero chance of sustained life in order to prevent severe health consequences to myself? Absolutely. 

If you want to put it in a more selfless context, which I shouldn’t have to, but sure – would I have had an abortion to save my own life and prevent my two existing children from potentially growing up without their mother? Yes. And it shouldn’t be up to the state to decide just how much risk I’m willing to take with my own – and my children’s – lives. That’s my choice, if I want to risk my life or not. 

Not according to Lindsey Graham. Granted, his bill includes exceptions for rape, incest, and pregnancies that threaten maternal health, but my question to Graham would be how, precisely, he defines maternal health. What risk is risk “enough”? 

I’ll tell you right now, if I were – as an example – forced to carry a baby to term that had no chance of survival simply because my body would be able to physically survive the delivery, saying that my health – my mental health, and my ability to function as a caregiver for my children – would be at significant risk would be a vast understatement.

Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell last week distanced himself from Graham’s bill, saying “most of the members of my conference prefer that this be dealt with at the state level.” Will a 15-week ban pass on a national scale? Probably not. 

But the willingness of Republican congresspeople to suggest – increasingly – that their beliefs about women’s bodies are more important than the beliefs – and health, and agency – of women themselves…that’s not going anywhere, unless we use our voices in November to tell them where they can stick their policies. 

 


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