U.S. Senate Republicans Introduce Nationwide Abortion Ban: ‘This Once-Hypothetical Nightmare Is Here’


A gaggle of abortion rights activists march from the U.S. Supreme Court docket to congressional workplace buildings on July 6, 2022 in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer / Getty Pictures)

On Tuesday, simply weeks earlier than the midterm elections, Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham (S. C.) and Chris Smith (N.J.) launched a nationwide ban on abortion at 15 weeks of being pregnant. The transfer was a reversal for Graham, who recently said abortion regulation must be left to the person states. Democratic members of Congress and abortion advocates condemned the proposed laws.

“For the arduous proper, this has by no means been about states’ rights,” said Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on the Senate flooring. “No, for MAGA Republicans, this has at all times been about making abortion unlawful in all places.”

“Anti-abortion rights politicians aren’t hiding the ball: They need to ban abortion nationwide,” stated Jenny Lawson, govt director of Deliberate Parenthood Votes. “This once-hypothetical nightmare is now right here.”

Because of the Supreme Court docket’s reversal of Roe v. Wade on June 24, 16 states now have abortion bans in impact. An Indiana ban went into effect Thursday, and West Virginia handed an abortion ban on Tuesday. In one other 9 states, bans are blocked by courtroom order. Abortion continues to be authorized in 22 states, however the proposed nationwide ban would finish authorized abortion after 15 weeks in all places, together with in states with the strongest abortion rights within the nation comparable to California, Illinois, New York and Massachusetts.

“This invoice exhibits the true Republican place: They need to ban abortion—for everybody. In each single state. And so they need to punish docs. They need to put them in jail for doing their jobs,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) on the ground of the Home on Wednesday. “To anybody who lives in a blue state, like mine—anybody who thinks they’re protected from these assaults right here is the painful actuality: Republicans are coming to your rights.”

The Republicans’ proposed ban has slim exceptions for abortion obligatory to handle “a bodily dysfunction, bodily sickness, or bodily harm” that endangers the lifetime of the pregnant girl. The invoice prohibits abortion for life-endangering psychiatric situations.

These exceptions delay and generally block critically sick girls from accessing the medical care they want, placing their well being and lives in danger. Recent peer-reviewed research exhibits that maternal morbidity almost doubled after abortion bans went into impact in Texas final yr. With the specter of dropping their medical licenses, dealing with steep fines and spending a long time in jail—and with imprecise legal guidelines written by politicians who know nothing about girls’s our bodies or the medical intricacies of being pregnant—docs are hesitant to take any possibilities and girls are struggling.

“Any laws that tells an individual what they will or can’t do with their very own our bodies, which isn’t in any respect primarily based in science or drugs, places each pregnant individual on this nation in danger,” stated Cecile Richards, former president of Deliberate Parenthood. “The worst half is, they only don’t care concerning the hurt this excessive laws would trigger.”

They solely want yet one more vote within the Senate to manage the bulk and produce this invoice to the ground.

Jenny Lawson, govt director of Deliberate Parenthood Votes

The invoice is chock stuffed with false claims and deceptive language, beginning with the title: “Defending Ache-Succesful Unborn Youngsters from Late-Time period Abortions Act.” The phrase “late-term abortion” is stigmatizing language rooted in anti-abortion rhetoric.

The declare {that a} 15-week fetus is able to experiencing ache is a flat-out lie. “The science conclusively establishes {that a} human fetus doesn’t have the capability to expertise ache till after at the very least 24–25 weeks. Each main medical group that has examined this problem and peer-reviewed research on the matter have constantly reached the conclusion that abortion earlier than this level doesn’t end result within the notion of ache in a fetus,” according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “The very best healthcare is supplied freed from governmental interference within the patient-clinician relationship. Private decision-making by sufferers and their healthcare professionals shouldn’t be changed by political ideology.”

Regardless of the science, the invoice has web page after web page of imprecise language, made-up medical-sounding phrases and inaccurate and inflammatory claims.

“Proposals just like the one right now ship a transparent message from MAGA Republicans to girls throughout the nation: Your physique, our alternative,” said Schumer.

Along with the proposed abortion ban in Congress, earlier this month ‘Catholics for Life’ in Rhode Island filed a petition with the Supreme Court docket asking the Court docket to rule that zygotes, embryos and fetuses are “individuals” have 14th Modification due course of and equal safety proper. This might have the impact of banning abortion and risk IUDs and hormonal contraception nationwide.

With the specter of a nationwide abortion ban hanging over their heads, abortion rights supporters are mobilizing for the autumn elections.

“Who we elect this November will decide our proper to an abortion and whether or not Congress can go a nationwide abortion ban,” stated Lawson, noting how shut anti-abortion politicians within the U.S. Senate are to passing a nationwide ban. “They solely want yet one more vote within the Senate to manage the bulk and produce this invoice to the ground.”

Democrats proposed their very own legislation, the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), that may set up the fitting to abortion nationwide. In July, the U.S. Home passed the measure, however then Republican senators filibustered a vote on the invoice. Eradicating the filibuster would require the votes of all 50 Democratic senators, plus Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking vote, however Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (West Virginia) and Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona) refuse to join the opposite 48 Democrats within the Senate to make this procedural change.

The way forward for abortion rights hinges on the November elections. If Democrats can maintain the U.S. Home and achieve two seats within the Senate, they may carry the filibuster and go WHPA. To do that, the social gathering should preserve its present senators up for re-election and win two extra seats. Advocates are centered on races in 9 key states: holding seats in Nevada, Arizona, Georgia and New Hampshire, and selecting up two seats within the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Florida.

Public opinion is on the aspect of abortion rights. Over 60 percent of People say abortion must be authorized in all or most circumstances, with larger charges of help amongst younger folks, girls and folks of colour. Regardless of widespread political gerrymandering, voter suppression and intimidation, abortion rights supporters are nonetheless hopeful the need of the folks will prevail this fall.

“A overwhelming majority of People consider that abortion is a non-public medical determination made between an individual and their physician,” stated Richards. “And what’s clear is that voters are going to carry them accountable on the poll field.”

U.S. democracy is at a harmful inflection level—from the demise of abortion rights, to an absence of pay fairness and parental go away, to skyrocketing maternal mortality, and assaults on trans well being. Left unchecked, these crises will result in wider gaps in political participation and illustration. For 50 years, Ms. has been forging feminist journalism—reporting, rebelling and truth-telling from the front-lines, championing the Equal Rights Modification, and centering the tales of these most impacted. With all that’s at stake for equality, we’re redoubling our dedication for the subsequent 50 years. In flip, we want your assist, Support Ms. today with a donation—any amount that is meaningful to you. For as little as $5 each month, you’ll obtain the print journal together with our e-newsletters, motion alerts, and invites to Ms. Studios occasions and podcasts. We’re grateful to your loyalty and ferocity.

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