Lindsey Graham Doesn’t Care If His Abortion Ban Will Force Women to Give Birth to Children With No Chance of Survival

On Tuesday afternoon, less than a month and a half after the words “states should decide…the issue of abortion” exited his mouth, Lindsey Graham introduced legislation that would ban the medical procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy at the federal level. While the South Carolina senator’s bill allows for exceptions in the case of incest and rape—a carve-out he presumably believes to be a profile in generosity—it would have a devastating impact on pregnant people, who often learn of fetal anomalies that could prevent their child from surviving outside of the womb well after 15 weeks into pregnancy. To those people, Graham says: tough shit.

During a press conference discussing the Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children From Late-Term Abortions Act, Graham was confronted by a woman who told him that she was informed at 16 weeks that her son would likely not survive. Explaining that she and her partner nevertheless made the decision to continue with the pregnancy, Ashbey Beasley told the senator: “When he was born, he lived for eight days, he bled from every orifice of his body. But we were allowed to make that choice for him. You would be robbing that choice from those women.” Asked what he would say to someone in Beasley’s position, Graham responded: “Here’s what I would say, the world has pretty much spoken on this issue.” He added that his bill has rape and incest exceptions, as well as allowances for when the pregnant person’s life is at risk. Incidentally, none of these things would help someone who learns of fatal anomalies after 15 weeks; in fact, many conditions that would result in a child not surviving past birth are detected only after 20-week anatomy scans.

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On Wednesday, Senator Marco Rubio—who less than three weeks ago said abortion should be up to the states—announced that he would cosponsor Graham’s bill.

While the legislation has no chance of being brought for a vote with Democrats in control of Congress, Graham said Tuesday that if the GOP prevails in the midterms, “I can assure you we’ll have a vote on our bill.”

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