It is hard to imagine a United States where Lindsey Graham’s proposed abortion ban could be advanced without expecting complete and total ridicule. He presents this bill as a moderate proposal that aligns with the majority views of the country, but I just finished reading it, and it is anything but. While many states have passed laws similar to what is proposed or even worse, a federal law of this nature would send a message to women that the United States is no longer a place where women are considered full citizens ANYWHERE. The majority of our country believes abortion should be LEGAL until 14-16 weeks, not banned after that period which would allow for states to further reduce access versus guarantee it.
Graham’s bill first spends seven pages discussing the ways that a fetus can feel pain and the potential physical harm to women from abortion procedures. It then bans abortions after fifteen weeks unless the mother’s life is endangered, or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. In those cases, the bill requires creation of documentation on fetal age assessments and circumstances, signed informed consents, ongoing data collection/reporting by doctors, and the presence of a neonatal surgeon if the fetal life is considered viable. The bill makes no exceptions for fetal abnormalities, many of which cannot be discovered until after fifteen weeks of gestation and many of which condemn a child and its family to significant hardship/disabilities including multiple surgeries that may or may not succeed, a less-than-full life experience for the child or a shortened lifespan.
I realize that Republicans are mostly ignoring Graham’s proposal, but I am greatly concerned that they are not wholeheartedly condemning it. As I have said, I am for a moderate federal law, but only one that affirms rights. Graham’s bill is an affront to all women, and to all people who believe women and men should be treated equally under the law as human beings.