By Mario Trujillo - 11/03/13 10:20 AM EST
Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamSyria activists cheer Kaine pick Vulnerable GOP senators praise Kaine Meghan McCain: ‘I no longer recognize my party’ MORE (R-S.C.) said Sunday he is proud to lead the charge in the Senate to ban abortions after 20 weeks of a pregnancy.
Graham is expected to introduce a bill this week. He dismissed the assertion he is leading the effort to shore up his conservative base ahead of the 2014 election.
“My record on being a pro-life senator, member of Congress is clear,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I am proud to lead this charge. This is a debate worthy of a great democracy. When do you become you: At 20 weeks of a pregnancy? What is the proper role of the government in protecting that child?"
Early on, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) was reportedly expected to lead the effort in the Senate. In July, Rubio said he and other Republican were debating which way to constitutionally justify the ban.
Graham said he is making the argument that a fetus can feel pain after 20-weeks.
“We’re trying to make the following argument to the Supreme Court: The state, the government, has a legitimate interest to protect the child at the 20-week period of development because they can feel pain. That is what a rational humane society would do — protect a child who can feel pain from an abortion unless there is the life of the mother, rape or incest involved.”
Graham said his pro-life credentials have been solid since his first days in the House, when he led the charge to pass the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which allows for an individual to be charged with two crimes in the murder of a pregnant woman.
“I have been a pro-life member of Congress since day one,” he said.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund said 60 senators would never approve of his plan, which uses "junk science" for justification. It said late-term abortions only happen in rare and tragic circumstances.
"Senator Graham is using junk science to score political points with the Tea Party, pushing a dangerous and extreme bill that doctors and experts agree has no basis in medicine," said Eric Ferrero, vice president of communications for the group.
— This post was updated at 12:55 p.m.