What to Know About Lindsey Graham’s Proposed National Abortion Ban

According to reports, the “Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act” would outlaw abortions nationwide beginning at 15 weeks. Less than three months after the U.S. Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade and gave the states the discretion to decide, South Carolina lawmakers have introduced their sixth attempt to outlaw abortion.

Before Roe v. Wade was overturned, Graham stated in a tweet that he thought it was “the most constitutionally sound method of dealing with this matter” to restore the choice over abortion access to the states.

The new proposed legislation is an upgraded version of the previous bill of the same name, which, with few exceptions, limited access to abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The former measure listed the ability to experience pain in fetuses at 20 weeks as one of the key justifications for restricting access to abortion. But that issue is still debatable and unjustified in terms of science.

A 2020 study from the Journal of Medical Ethics examined prenatal pain in relation to abortions and found that “many reports rule out fetal pain until the final trimester given that the cortex only becomes functional and the tracts only mature after 24 weeks.”

Graham’s legislation does have a number of exceptions, such as those for rape, incest, and situations in which a woman’s life is in jeopardy due to pregnancy.  If a child can live outside the womb, the measure also mandates that a doctor with neonatal resuscitation training be present during the abortion.

In the years following Roe, this legislation is nothing new. Following this summer’s Supreme Court decision, states like Florida and Mississippi banned abortions beyond 15 weeks, while Oklahoma made conducting an abortion a felony in most circumstances.

Republican lawmakers in Congress have once again demonstrated their willingness to enact a federal ban on abortion if given the chance, according to Danielle Melfi, executive director of Building Back Together, an advocacy group affiliated with the Biden administration. You May Also Like:

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