Called the Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act, the legislation includes exceptions for abortions that are necessary to save the life of the mother or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. It would also not affect state laws that are already more restrictive.
“Abortion is not banned in America. It's left up to the elected officials in America to define the issue,” Graham said alongside anti-abortion rights advocates while unveiling the legislation on Capitol Hill.
“States have the ability to do it at the state level, and we have the ability in Washington to speak on this issue if we choose. I have chosen to speak. I have chosen to craft legislation that I think is eminently reasonable in the eyes of the world and I hope the American people,” he continued.
In June, Graham called the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision that established the constitutional right to an abortion, a “long overdue constitutional correction allowing the officials in the states to decide issues of life.”
There is, however, little chance that Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) would allow such a bill to receive a vote in the chamber, where his party has been focused on preserving abortion rights over the past three months.
“For the hard right, this has never been about states’ rights. This has never been about letting Texas choose its own path while California takes another,” he continued. “No, for MAGA Republicans, this has always been about making abortion illegal everywhere.”
Meanwhile, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre quickly slammed the measure, describing it to be “wildly out of step with what Americans believe.”
“While President Biden and Vice President Harris are focused on the historic passage of the Inflation Reduction Act to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, health care, and energy—and to take unprecedented action to address climate change—Republicans in Congress are focused on taking rights away from millions of women,” she said in a statement.
“The president and vice president are fighting for progress, while Republicans are fighting to take us back,” she added.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Finance and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.