What’s Going on With Senator Lindsey Graham’s 15-Week Abortion Ban?

It appears the overturning of Roe v. Wade didn’t go quite far enough in curtailing bodily autonomy for some Republican senators, because on Tuesday, Senator Lindsey Graham introduced a bill that would ban most abortions nationwide starting at a pregnancy’s 15-week mark.

Luckily, the odds of the bill getting through Congress are slim, but in the post-Roe era, it offers a grim glimpse at where the fight against reproductive freedom is heading. Below, find all the details on Graham’s proposed abortion ban.

What’s in the bill?

Graham’s bill has been erroneously touted as a late-term abortion ban, but in fact, it seeks to cut off abortion access at 15 weeks, whereas a late-term abortion is usually designated as 21 weeks or later. The bill, which was introduced just three months after Roe fell, would allow abortion past the 15-week mark only in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the pregnant person.

Where would Graham’s bill limit abortion most severely?

The bill seems to target blue states that do not have abortion trigger laws on the books, in an alarming sign that the GOP isn’t content with merely outlawing abortion in conservative-majority states like Texas and Oklahoma.

Is the bill expected to pass?

Luckily, no. Democrats currently hold narrow majorities in both the House and Senate, meaning that the chance of Graham’s bill working its way through Congress successfully is slim. 

Who has come out to condemn the bill?

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell—who has frequently voiced support for abortion restrictions in the past—seemed notably hesitant to give backing to Graham’s bill, telling reporters on Tuesday, “I think most of the members of my conference prefer that this will be dealt with at the state level.” The Biden administration, for its part, called the bill “wildly out of step with what Americans believe.”

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