Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is getting ready to bring the fight for life to the halls of Congress. Speculation is rising that he will propose to codify into law a twenty-week abortion ban with exceptions for rape, incest, and a threat to the mother’s life. Abortion is becoming one of the most prominent issues on the ballot box in November. Although the measure is unlikely to make it to the floor while Democrats control the Senate, if Republicans sweep the November elections, it’s increasingly likely that the issue could come to a vote with the incoming Congress.
Laura Litvan; September 12, 2022
US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham plans to introduce legislation to restrict abortion nationally, as the politically explosive debate is emerging as one of the central issues in the midterm election campaign.
The South Carolina senator has scheduled a noon Tuesday announcement at the Capitol, according to a statement from his office.
The statement doesn’t provide details of what Graham plans to announce, but the proposal has the same title as a 20-week abortion ban he introduced in 2021 and in previous years.
The legislation would have little chance of making it to the Senate floor this year while the chamber is controlled by Democrats. Republicans are trying to win a congressional majority in the November election. But even then, it would be difficult to advance under Senate rules and would face a likely veto by President Joe Biden if it did.
Under Graham’s previous proposal, abortions would be banned beginning at 20 weeks with exceptions for rape or incest or to save the mother’s life.
Medical professionals who violate the ban could be fined, imprisoned for as long as five years, or both. Women couldn’t be prosecuted for having an abortion in violation of the ban.
After the Supreme Court overturned the Roe v Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide, Republican-controlled states across the Midwest and South adopted strict abortion bans.
But those efforts to outlaw abortion have triggered a backlash. Voters in solidly Republican Kansas soundly defeated an abortion ballot measure and the number of women registering to vote has jumped in key midterm battleground states.
The court’s abortion decision has begun to crowd the economy as the top issue for voters in the November election. It also has helped Democrats energize their voting base to keep abortion rights and may work to limit Republican gains in the midterms.
Photo: Al Drago/ Bloomberg