Republicans Set To Introduce National Late-Term Abortion Ban
After decades of saying abortion’s legality should be left up to individual states, Republicans are wasting no time in exposing that for the convenient lie it was. Just a few months after the Supreme Court said Americans have no constitutional right to abortion, Republican leaders are set to propose a nationwide abortion ban.
Led by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.), a group of Senate Republicans is reportedly backing a federal ban on abortions at 15 weeks of pregnancy. Graham’s bill—the “Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act”—is expected to be introduced in the Senate today.
The bill’s name is misleading in that way so many pieces of legislation are—designed to make anyone who votes against it seem to the casual observer like an extremist or even a monster. (See also: any bill with sex trafficking in the name.) The phrase late-term abortion is not a medical term. But in general, it refers to an abortion in the third trimester (which starts at 28 weeks) or, at least, an abortion that takes place after the point of fetal viability (when a fetus could survive outside the womb, around 23 or 24 weeks).
Graham’s bill, however, is expected to propose an abortion ban that starts at 15 weeks.
Even prior to the recent Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, many states banned abortion after the point of fetal viability, according to reproductive rights organization the Guttmacher Institute. Since the Supreme Court ruling, bans in 44 states have gotten more restrictive, with some now entirely banning the procedure and some bans starting at six or 15 weeks.
“Just 1% of US abortions occurred after the 21 week point, and 91% occurred before 13 weeks,” notes Georgetown University professor Don Moynihan on Substack. “So why allow a late and rarely used cut-off? Women are more likely to select an abortion at that point because of health risk either to themselves or the fetus. Having that option is important for women forced to make some hard choices.”
Backdoor censorship on social media. A new analysis from Will Duffield of the Cato Institute looks at “jawboning” on social media. Jawboning is when “a government official threatens to use his or her power—be it the power to prosecute, regulate, or legislate—to compel someone to take actions that the state official cannot.” Essentially, it’s government bullying for censorial purposes. And “although courts have identified and censured jawboning in the past, it has been given a new life in t
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