Senate Democrats dismissed a bill being introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) that would ban abortions after 20 weeks, saying it will go “nowhere” in the Senate.
Graham officially introduced the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act Thursday. Some scientists say a fetus can feel pain after 20 weeks, prompting the title of the bill.
“This extreme, unconstitutional abortion ban is an absolute non-starter,” Murray said. “It’s going nowhere in the Senate and Republicans know it.”
Current federal law allows abortion up until the fetus is viable at 24 weeks. The Democratic senators said Graham's bill was a "direct assault" on the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision.
“We’re not going back. We’re not going back on settled law. We’re not going to take away a woman’s ability to make her own decisions, about her own health care and her own body,” Murray said. “Women are not going back to a time when laws forced them into back alleys and made them subject to primitive and unsanitary care.”
The House passed a companion measure in June, amending it at the last minute to include exceptions for rape and incest victims. Democrats complained that Republicans were out of touch because they didn’t include the exemption from the beginning.
"This bill essentially leaves any woman who needs an abortion for health reasons after 20 weeks with no options," Blumenthal said. "Quite simply this bill is bad for women."
Graham is up for reelection in 2014 in a conservative state and will face Tea Party challengers in the GOP primary.
Texas, Nebraska and Arizona already have bans against abortions after 20 weeks.