Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina introduced the Protecting Pain-Capable UnbornChildren from Late-Term Abortions Act Tuesday, September 13. If passed, the bill would ban
abortions nationwide after 15 weeks, at which stage of gestation an unborn infant possesses
almost fully developed nerve endings and is able to feel pain. The South Carolina senator has
proposed the bill in answer to legislation proposed by Democrats in the Senate that would codify
abortion up to and including birth.
According to Live Action.org, a pro-life news source, the bill has been introduced partly because
there is convincing scientific evidence that preborn human beings can feel pain at 15 weeks in
Graham’s bill, the Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act,
would prevent abortions from being done on preborn babies beginning at 15 weeks of gestation.
This is partly because, as stated in the bill, “there is substantial medical evidence that an unborn
child is capable of experiencing pain at least by 15 weeks gestational age, if not earlier,” and
because in late-term abortions, “risks to the pregnant woman […] increase with gestational
Speaking to reporters at a news conference aired on C-Span.org, Senator Graham stated that the
bill is also meant to counter legislation – proposed by Senator Schumer and other Democrats –
that would legalize abortions at all stages of gestation, including birth. Mr. Graham expressed the
hope that his bill would receive the same opportunity for debate and voting that his Democratic
colleagues bill received.
The Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act comes at a key
moment, as abortion has become a main issue after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson
decision in which the justices determined that the Constitution does not provide a nationwide
right to abortion. The abortion issue is expected to carry substantial weight during the midterm
elections in November.