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Friday, Nov 28, 2014

Sen. Lindsey Graham to Introduce 20-Week Abortion Ban

  • (Photo: The Christian Post/Napp Nazworth)
    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), speaking at "Faith Community and Congress Celebrate Mother's Day and the Lifesaving Efforts of PEPFAR," May 14, 2013, Washington, D.C.
November 1, 2013|4:35 pm

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) will introduce a bill in the U.S. Senate next week that would ban all abortions after the fetus is 20-weeks old.

A similar bill, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, has already been passed in the U.S. House.

There was some debate among Senate Republicans over the wording of the bill, according to The Washington Examiner, which first reported that Graham would introduce the bill.

The debate was over whether the authority to ban abortions after 20-weeks could be found in the Commerce Clause, which gives Congress the authority to regulate commerce among the states. Generally, conservatives have taken a limited view of the power given to Congress under the Commerce Clause while liberals have used the Commerce Clause to justify giving the federal government greater authority over state governments.

Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life advocacy group, praised Graham's decision to introduce the bill.

"A growing number of states and the U.S. House have now voted to end the barbaric practice of late abortion past the point at which the child can feel pain. We applaud Senator Graham and urge all Senators to join him in cosponsoring this compassionate legislation," SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said. "We ask Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to bring this to the Senate floor for a vote immediately.

"If he and his colleagues stand with the majority of Americans opposed to brutal, late abortion, they should wholeheartedly embrace the opportunity for debate. There is great consensus across the nation on this issue – especially in the aftermath of Kermit Gosnell and the exposure of other abortion clinic horrors like those at Douglas Karpen's facility in Texas, and 'meat market' style abortions at Planned Parenthood in Delaware. It is time that the law reflects our natural recoil from such violence against the innocent."

Dannenfelser also promised to highlight the views of any senators who opposed the bill, such as Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), in next year's election.

In July, there were reports, starting with The Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes, that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) would be the lead sponsor of the bill. Plus, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) was already the sponsor of a similar bill that would have ban abortions at 20-weeks for the District of Columbia. Graham, though, has apparently emerged as the lead sponsor after the Republican conference debate over the bill's wording.

The House bill and similar state-level abortion bans and restrictions followed the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell earlier this year. Gosnell would found guilty of murder after it was discovered he was delivering late-term babies alive and then killing them. His Philadelphia abortion facility went largely unregulated.

Polls indicate strong support for a 20-week abortion ban. Five national polls conducted this year have shown either plurality or majority support for the ban. A July HuffPost/YouGov poll, for instance, showed 59 percent of Americans support banning abortions at 20 weeks.

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