WASHINGTON — Republican members of the House and Senate on Tuesday introduced a bill banning abortion nationwide after 15 weeks of gestation.
“Working closely with leading pro-life groups across the country, we are today introducing legislation banning abortion at a time when unborn children may be in pain,” said Senator Lindsey Graham (RS .C.), principal sponsor of the bill in the Senate, said in a press release. “Our legislation, which prohibits abortion after 15 weeks of gestation, will bring the abortion policy of the United States into line with other developed countries such as France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Spain and other European countries.”
Graham’s Bill, known as the Protection of Unborn Children Capable of Pain from Late Abortions Act, would prohibit doctors from performing abortions after 15 weeks of gestation except in situations involving rape, incest or health risks. mother’s life and physical health. The bill, also introduced in the House by Rep. Chris Smith (RN.J.), would leave in place state laws with stricter abortion bans.
“After Roe vs. Wade was reversed, Democrats in Congress rallied behind pro-choice legislation that allows abortion up until the moment of birth,” he added. “I see the Democratic proposal as radical and one that the Americans will eventually reject. Our legislation is a responsible alternative because we provide exceptions for cases of rape, incest and the life and physical health of the mother.”
Graham was referring to laws like the Women’s Health Protection Act – passed by the House in July – that would make abortion legal nationwide. The bill, which failed in the Senate by a 49-51 vote, would have created “a federal right for patients to receive and providers to provide abortion care, ensuring that every American – regardless of location residency – can make decisions about their lives and their bodies,” said Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.), the bill’s lead sponsor, said in a press release when the measure was passed in the House.
This isn’t the first time Graham has introduced a bill to ban abortions; he introduced a similar measure in January 2021 that would ban abortions after 20 weeks’ gestation, noting in a press release that he had introduced abortion-banning bills in the past four congresses. But this bill comes at a critical time as midterm elections are less than 2 months away and various states have enacted their own abortion bans following the Supreme Court ruling that overturned roe deer.
Reaction to the bill was swift. “This once hypothetical nightmare is now here,” Jenny Lawson, executive director of abortion rights group Planned Parenthood Votes, said in a statement. “Who we elect in November will determine our abortion rights and whether Congress can pass a national abortion ban… They just need one more vote in the Senate to control the majority and present this bill. They must be held to account.”
The National Committee for the Right to Life (NRLC), an anti-abortion rights group, welcomed the measure. “We commend pro-life Senator Lindsey Graham and pro-life Congressman Chris Smith for their tireless efforts and dedication on behalf of unborn children and their mothers,” said NRLC President Carol Tobias. said in a blog postadding that the measure would “prevent cruel and painful abortions from being performed on innocent children”.