South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham made headlines this week by proposing the first national restriction on abortion since Roe v. Wade was overturned.
Sen. Graham has said his 15-week ban on abortion would put the U.S. in line with some other European countries that use a similar timeline. He also says the bill cuts off the procedure when the unborn child starts to feel pain in the womb.
Graham's proposal is called the "Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act." It's the most significant piece of legislation Republicans have put forward since the decision overturning Roe v. Wade, making abortion a state issue. He maintains it still would be, even with a nationwide 15-week ban.
"A baby is not a state's rights issue, it's a human rights issue," he told CBN.
Democrats quickly pounced as they see abortion rights as a winning issue in the November midterm elections.
"The American people do not want politicians in their bedrooms and their doctor's offices. They do not want Lindsey Graham to make healthcare decisions for them, they want to make their own decisions," said Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) at the Democrat Party's weekly caucus meeting.
Graham's move also led to a split with some of his Republican colleagues.
"Well, I do believe it should be left to the states. That was the point of the Supreme Court decision," Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) told reporters.
"With regard to Sen. Graham's bill, I think the fact of the matter is our Democratic colleagues don't believe in any restriction on abortion up until a baby is delivered. That's an extreme point of view not shared by any civilized place on the planet. I believe that's the contrast he was trying to communicate," Cornyn explained.
Sen. Graham believes his fellow Republicans would ultimately vote with him for the bill if it ever came to that.
"I'm trying to say abortion on demand should stop then because the baby can feel pain. Science tells us when you poke the baby it responds, can you imagine what kind of death it would be when it's dismembered by an abortionist? I'm trying to stop that, if people are ok with abortion up to the moment of birth they can vote that way. I'm not ok with that, and the people watching this program aren't ok with that. If we're not going to stand up for the 15 week old baby, who is?" said Sen. Graham.
Pro-life groups celebrated the proposal, with some seeing it as an issue candidates can use to take back control on Capitol Hill.
"I think this legislation is coming at an ideal time for those running for federal office, especially the U.S. Senate, so they can say 'Hey, this is a first step we can all get behind,'" said Mallory Carroll with Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America.
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