Sen. Graham introduces anti-abortion bill as promised

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV/AP) -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham introduced the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in the United States Senate Thursday.{}

The legislation bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy unless an abortion would protect the life of the mother, or in cases of rape or incest. The bill currently has 33 cosponsors.

"At twenty weeks, mothers are encouraged to speak and sing as the baby can recognize the voice of the mother," Graham said in a press release. "The question for the American people is, 'Should we be silent when it comes to protecting these unborn children entering the sixth month of pregnancy?{} Or is it incumbent on us to speak up and act on their behalf?{} I say we must speak up and act."

Graham was joined at the Capitol Hill introduction by U.S. Senator Rob Portman of Ohio and leaders of the pro-life community.

"Science and technology have advanced tremendously since 1973," said Graham.{} "We now know that an unborn child at the twentieth week of pregnancy can feel pain.{} In fact, anesthesia is administered directly to unborn children in second trimester fetal surgery.{} Given these facts and my continued strong support for life, I believe there is a compelling interest in protecting these unborn children who are among the most vulnerable in our society.{} I'm confident that over time the American people and their elected representatives will say yes as well.{} The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is the new front in protecting the rights of the unborn. I'm very proud to be leading this charge."{}{}{}

The U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 decision legalized abortion until a fetus could viably survive outside of the womb, generally at 22 to 24 weeks.

To see the current SC law on abortion, click here.

"While our nation is divided on whether or not abortion should be legal, on one point there is a growing consensus: we must all work together to reduce the number of abortions. With all of the innovative medical treatments now available, more Americans are realizing that we are talking about children that deserve protection and overwhelmingly believe that we need a law like this," said Portman. "The unborn are the most vulnerable members of our society, and I am committed to ongoing efforts to protect innocent life."

Cosponsors include:

  • Senators John Barrasso (WY){}
  • Roy Blunt (MO)
  • John Boozman (AR)
  • Richard Burr (NC)
  • Saxby Chambliss (GA)
  • Dan Coats (IN)
  • Thad Cochran (MS)
  • Tom Coburn (OK)
  • Mike Crapo (ID)
  • Ted Cruz (TX)
  • John Cornyn (TX)
  • Mike Enzi (WY)
  • Deb Fischer (NE)
  • Jeff Flake (AZ)
  • Charles Grassley (IA)
  • Orrin Hatch (UT)
  • John Hoeven (ND)
  • Johnny Isakson (GA)
  • Mike Johanns (NE)
  • Ron Johnson (WI)
  • James Inhofe (OK)
  • Mitch McConnell (KY)
  • Jerry Moran (KS)
  • John McCain (AZ)
  • James Risch (ID)
  • Pat Roberts (KS)
  • Marco Rubio (FL)
  • Richard Shelby (AL)
  • Tim Scott (SC)
  • John Thune (SD)
  • David Vitter (LA)
  • and Roger Wicker (MS)

The companion legislation passed through the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 228-196. It's not expected to go anywhere in the Democratic-controlled Senate.