When the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe v. Wade in June, it gave elected officials something that they had lacked for 49 years: The freedom to make policy on the issue of abortion.
Republican elected officials have responded to that freedom in a variety of ways. Some—especially on the state level—have spoken out for unborn children and worked to enact laws that protect them. Others have backpedaled from their previous pro-life stances. In an effort to steer clear of controversy, some congressional Republicans have sought to punt the abortion issue to the states. Still others have remained silent, perhaps hoping that this deeply controversial issue will blow over.
On September 13, 2022, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced a new bill that would ban abortion in the United States after 15 weeks’ gestation. Sen. Graham’s bill contains exceptions that would allow abortions at later than 15 weeks’ gestation in cases where a pregnancy has resulted from rape or incest, or in situations where a continued pregnancy would endanger the life of a pregnant mother. Also, the bill would allow state laws that impose stronger protections against abortion to remain in effect. According to The New York Sun, a recent poll shows that a majority of Americans support a ban on abortions performed after 15 weeks’ gestation.
Sen. Graham announced the introduction of his bill at a press conference where he was joined by 10 female pro-life leaders. The Senator commented, “‘After [the Democrats] introduced [an abortion bill] to define who they are, I thought it’d be nice to introduce a bill to define who we are.’” While there is no chance that this bill will be voted upon in the current Democrat-led Congress, Sen. Graham assured the public that the bill would receive a vote if Republicans were to take control of Congress following this fall’s elections.
As a staunchly pro-life organization, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms works toward an end to abortion. Both in the states and at the national level, pro-lifers must support laws that protect against abortion to the maximum extent possible. In situations where a bill protecting unborn babies at every stage of pregnancy can be passed, we should support such a bill. In situations where the best bill that can be passed is a bill that protects against late-term abortions, we should support that bill as a step in the right direction and continue to push for the passage of additional protections later.
Is Sen. Graham’s bill worth supporting? NYCF urges a wait-and-see approach. The bill would certainly be an improvement over the status quo, and Sen. Graham’s bravery in taking on the abortion issue is laudable. Whether the bill is the most pro-life bill that can possibly become law at the federal level will depend on the political situation in future years.