This Senator Is “Dying” To Debate Late-Term Abortion

Senator Lindsey Graham reintroduced a bill today that would ban all abortions after 20 weeks — with no exceptions. Graham, who's a Republican from South Carolina, said he thinks America needs to have a public debate about late-term abortion. "Why do we want to let this happen five months into the pregnancy? I am dying for that debate," Graham said. "I'm going to quite frankly insist that we have that debate." Earlier this year, the House passed a version of the bill, called Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act — named for the disputed medical theory that fetuses can feel pain after 20 weeks. Mark DeFrancesco, MD, the president of American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, posed an answer to Senator Graham's query into why a woman would need a late term abortion: "As an Ob/Gyn, I know firsthand the reasons why women may need abortion care after 20 weeks," he said in a statement. "This ban would force physicians to deny services, even to women who have made the difficult decision to end pregnancies for reasons including fetal anomalies diagnosed later in pregnancy or other unexpected obstetric outcomes. This is simply cruel." A Guttmacher Institute report found that abortions at or after 21 weeks make up only about 1% of the terminations in the U.S. Democratic opposition to the bill is fierce. "It’s deeply disappointing that once again, Republicans are showing that they care more about scoring political points with their extreme base than they do about women’s health and rights. This unconstitutional restriction on women’s reproductive options, which we’ve seen all too often in states across the country, would allow politicians to interfere in the most personal medical decisions a woman makes, and it would put women’s lives at risk," Senator Patty Murray, a pro-choice Democrat from Washington, told R29 in an email. Senator Graham just declared his intention to seek the Republican nomination for president. In a totally unrelated but absurd story, a colleague of Mr. Graham, Senator Kirk, called him a "bro with no ho" on the Senate floor today, in reference to the fact that Graham isn't married. Kirk's since apologized.

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