A National 15-Week Abortion Ban Would Be Moderate, Not Extreme

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced a bill that would ban abortion nationwide after 15 weeks with exceptions. Despite the media’s substantial misrepresentation, the bill is moderate.

The specifics: Sen. Lindsey Graham's bill would ban abortion across the country after 15 weeks of pregnancy, with exceptions for cases involving rape, incest, or risks to the mother. Not counting the exceptions, late-term abortions would be illegal in almost all cases.

The bill is moderate

It’s in line with European standards and moves away from America’s past radical policy. Only three of 50 European countries permit abortion past 15 weeks. The United States is one of the mere seven countries that allow election abortions after 20 weeks, along with China and North Korea.

Americans overwhelmingly support restrictions on abortion at 15 weeks. Sixty percent of Americans believe that abortion should be generally legal in the first trimester (up to 13 weeks). For the second trimester, that drastically falls to under 28 percent.

Political perspectives

From the left: Progressives have portrayed the bill as extreme, with The New York Times publishing a piece calling it “unbelievable cruel.” Regarding political strategy, Democrats want to make the midterms solely about abortion to position Republican efforts as a radical attack on women’s rights.

From the right: Some see the bill as political sabotage or abuse of federal power, while others say it doesn’t go far enough. The bill lends a massive hand to the Democrat strategy of making midterms about abortion and can affect Republican efforts to take the House. Others say that abortion should be a state issue and point out that states have been successfully passing state-level abortion bans.

Big picture: Graham’s abortion bill is a moderate solution to America’s abortion debate, leaving both sides unsatisfied. If Democrats didn’t misrepresent the bill for midterms, the moderate 15-week abortion legislation could bring the nation in line with the rest of the Western world.

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