U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today introduced the Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act in the United States Senate. The legislation would set a federal minimum protection for unborn children that is in line with European limits and ban abortion after 15 weeks gestation when unborn children can feel pain.
Graham noted that the current standard of medical care calls for unborn babies to receive pain medication during fetal surgery at 15 weeks gestation. Life-saving surgeries performed in utero, using pain medication, include treatment for twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome and spina bifida.
“Working closely with the preeminent pro-life groups in the country, we are today introducing legislation to ban abortion at a time when unborn children can feel pain,” said Graham. “Our legislation, which bans abortion after 15 weeks gestation, will put the United States abortion policy in line with other developed nations such as France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, and other European nations.”
The Graham legislation:
- Prohibits doctors from performing abortions after 15 weeks gestation – when an unborn child can feel pain – except in situations involving rape, incest, or risks to the life and physical health of the mother.
- Leaves in place state laws that are more protective of unborn life.
- Puts the United States in line with other modern societies – 47 out of 50 European nations limit elective abortion prior to 15 weeks gestation.
“After Roe v. Wade was overturned, Democrats in Congress have rallied behind pro-choice legislation which allows abortion right up until the moment of birth. I view the Democrat proposal as radical and one that Americans will ultimately reject. Our legislation is a responsible alternative as we provide exceptions for cases of rape, incest, and life and physical health of the mother,” concluded Graham.
Graham noted that over 55,000 abortions at 15 weeks gestation or later occur each year in the United States, and the most recent state-level data shows that the majority of late-term abortions are performed for elective reasons. A majority of Americans – 72 percent – are in favor of limiting abortions after 15 weeks.
The full text of the legislation can be found here.