[guest post by Dana]
Almost three months after the Roe decision and two months before the midterm election, Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced a bill this morning that would limit abortion on demand to 15 weeks nationwide:
“I think we should have a law at the federal level that after 15 weeks, no abortion on demand, except in the case of incest, rape, or to save the life of the mother…If we adopted our bill, we would be in the mainstream of almost everybody else in the world. I think there are 47 of the 50 European countries have a ban on abortion from 12-15 weeks. And I picked 15 weeks…because…the science tells us that the nerve endings are developed to the point that the unborn child feels pain..”
Graham also pointed out that this bill would put us in line with most European nations’ abortion laws, and that it would put us in line with both science and the civilized world.
Rather than both parties’ extreme views on abortion: legal abortion up to the moment of birth or no abortion ever, no exceptions, Graham’s proposed bill seems more representative of America at large:
The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll shows many Americans back some restrictions on abortion, especially after the first trimester, but the most extreme measures introduced in some Republican-led states are at odds with the public — and with many of the people who live in them.
Overwhelming majorities also think their state should generally allow abortion in specific cases, including if the health of the pregnant person is endangered or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. Few think abortion should always be illegal, and most Americans support their state generally allowing abortion six weeks into the pregnancy.
Those patterns persist even in the 23 states in which laws banning or tightening access to abortion have taken effect, will soon take effect or are being debated in court.
Views about abortion at the 15-week mark are muddled. The poll shows Americans in states that have deepened restrictions on abortion are closely divided over abortion at 15 weeks into a pregnancy. That compares with about 6 in 10 Americans in other states saying abortion should be allowed at that point. That gap is similar on allowing abortion for “any reason.”
Support dwindles across the board at 24 weeks into the pregnancy, with only about a third saying their state should generally allow for that.
Democrats should allow a debate and vote on Graham’s bill. After all, if Democrats really believe what they’ve repeatedly said (that abortion through the ninth month is what a majority of voters want), then there shouldn’t be any problem – or fear – in granting Graham’s request…
P.S. Mitch weighs in:
McConnell is asked about Lindsey Graham’s abortion ban pic.twitter.com/f2yQ3cX42u
— Acyn (@Acyn) September 13, 2022