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Sarah Green Carmichael

Don’t Want Later Abortions? Make Early Ones More Accessible

A proposal by Senator Lindsey Graham to ban the termination of pregnancy after 15 weeks ignores the difficulty many women face obtaining the procedure earlier.

Better access needed.

Better access needed.

Photographer: Drew Angerer/Getty Images 

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina surprised us all on Tuesday by proposing a federal ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy with almost no exceptions. The pro-choice side was understandably outraged, while Republicans recoiled at having a federal ban back in the spotlight after their efforts to avoid the issue before the midterm elections.

Graham’s pitch was likely just a political ploy aimed at shifting the conversation away from where it had been focused since Roe fell: on miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies and rape, leaving Republicans playing defense. He knows his bill isn’t likely to come to a vote. And the absence of exceptions for the health of pregnant women make it a non-starter with the majority of Americans.