US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham plans to introduce legislation to restrict abortion nationally, as the politically explosive debate is emerging as one of the central issues in the midterm election campaign.
According to a statement from his office, the South Carolina senator has scheduled a noon Tuesday announcement at the Capitol.
The statement doesn’t provide details of what Graham plans to announce, but the proposal has the same title as a 20-week abortion ban he introduced in 2021 and previous years.
The legislation would have little chance of making it to the Senate floor this year while Democrats control the chamber. Republicans are trying to win a congressional majority in the November election. But even then, it would be difficult to advance under Senate rules and would face a likely veto by President Joe Biden if it did.
Under Graham’s previous proposal, abortions would be banned beginning at 20 weeks with exceptions for rape or incest or to save the mother’s life.
Medical professionals who violate the ban could be fined, imprisoned for as long as five years, or both. Women couldn’t be prosecuted for having an abortion violating the ban.
After the Supreme Court overturned the Roe v Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide, Republican-controlled states across the Midwest and South adopted strict abortion bans.
But those efforts to outlaw abortion have triggered a backlash. Voters in solidly Republican Kansas soundly defeated an abortion ballot measure, and the number of women registering to vote has jumped in key midterm battleground states.
The court’s abortion decision has begun to crowd the economy as the top issue for voters in the November election. It also has helped Democrats energize their voting base to keep abortion rights and may work to limit Republican gains in the midterms.