Sep 14, 2022
Sen. Lindsey Graham introduces a nationwide abortion ban bill Transcript
Graham held a news conference proposing an abortion bill that would prohibit the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy with rare exceptions. Read the transcript here.
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All right. Welcome everybody. It’s a full room. Senator Graham said the air condition must be broken, didn’t pay the bill, but thank you for joining us. I’m the MC, not the one in charge, Senator Graham is that, and he has some important things to say about the bill that you have just hopefully read at least some of it to get the gist. He’ll tell you more. I want to thank you, Senator Graham for being the human being that you are and looking out for the little guys. After Senator Graham speaks, I’ll say a couple things then Carol Tobias at National Right to Life, Catherine Foster at Americans United for Life, Jeanne Mancini March for Life, Star Parker Urban Cure, and Penny Nance, Concerned Women for America. And then Senator Graham will answer questions from reporters.
Senator Graham: (00:50)
Thank you. Thank you all. Welcome Ladies. So this makes me look better already. So we’re trending in the right direction. I just went from a big tech hearing to little babies, that’s what I like about my job. What do you do about Twitter? What do you do about the unborn? That’s why I like the job so much. So here’s what I think we will be doing about the unborn. We will introduce legislation. I, along with a lot of my colleagues to basically get America in a position at the federal level I think is fairly consistent with the rest of the world, can we-
Senator Graham: (01:34)
We have charts, shows you how serious we are. All right, 15 weeks, the baby’s at the 15 week period. What does that mean? Well, it means if you’re going to operate on the baby, which happens to save the child’s life to provide it medical treatment, the standard practice in medicine is to provide anesthesia. Now, why would you do that? You provide anesthesia because the science tells us that the 15 week period the nerve endings of the baby are pretty well developed and the child feels pain. So here’s our point that if you have to provide anesthesia to keep the baby from feeling pain, to help save its life, should we as a nation be aborting babies that can feel excruciating pain from an abortion? Here’s what I think, I think we should have a law at the federal level that would say after 15 weeks, no abortion on demand except in cases of rape, incest, to save the life of the mother. And that should be where America’s at. And what would that mean if we adopted that position? The next chart. Where are the chart people?
Senator Graham: (02:49)
If we adopted my bill, our bill, we would be in the mainstream of most everybody else in the world. I think there are 47 of the 50 European countries have a ban on abortion from 12 to 15 weeks. And I pick 15 weeks, which is a little longer than Belgium, Germany and Spain, longer than France, Denmark, and Norway. Now, why did I do that? Because I feel comfortable at 15 weeks the science tells us that the nerve endings are developed to the point that the unborn child feels pain. So the theory of the case here is not to be like Europe so much is to have a standard in America that would prohibit abortions during the birthing process at a stage where it’s pretty clear from the science and most of the world, this should be a no go unless there’s some extraordinary reason.
Senator Graham: (03:55)
So we will be introducing this bill as of right now, people will join. I hope it will be bipartisan, and we will have a debate if we’re allowed to bring it up as to why we’re doing what we’re doing. Abortion is a contentious issue. Postops, America’s got to make some decisions. And the first thing I would say about the doc’s decision is that abortion’s not banned in America, it’s left up to elected officials in America to define the issue, you have states have the ability to do at the state level. And we have the ability in Washington to speak on this issue if we choose. I have chosen to speak, I’ve chosen to craft legislation that I think is Emily reasonable in the eyes of the world. And I hope the American people at 15 weeks pretty much strong majority of Americans believe abortion should be the exception, not the rule. Now my bill follows my democratic colleagues attempt to define abortion at the federal level. So right after the repeal of Roe V Wade, my democratic colleagues introduce legislation in Washington to create a national standard. They have every right to do so so they chose to do that and here’s what they chose.
Senator Graham: (05:29)
They chose a bill that allows late term abortion virtually up to the point of birth. They chose a bill that would repeal at the state level virtually all pro-life protections passed at the state level. They chose a bill that would not put us in the mainstream of the world, but put us in a group of seven nations that allow abortion on demand pretty much up to the point of birth like North Korea, Iran, and a few others. About 10% of Americans support abortion, late term abortion like the democratic bill. So my legislation, our legislation is a counter to their proposal. I hope we get to debate on it and vote on it. They had a chance to vote on their bill. I’m asking for a chance to vote on my bill. And I’m hoping that the more we talk about this issue and what we’re trying to accomplish at the federal level, we can rally the public nationally to put our country in better standing to realize that we’re not a better nation here, aborting babies at 15 weeks who can feel excruciating pain unless there’s a real extreme exception that we would be in the company of most civilized nations would get out of the club of seven like our Democrat colleagues would put us into.
Senator Graham: (07:00)
So we’re going to have an election in 2022. The inflation report today was in my view bad news for the American consumer because inflation’s not getting better anytime soon. And in fact it’s going to get worse. Crime is on the rise. We have a broken border, but having said all that the abortion issue in America has always been part of our political discourse. It will continue to be, and this is my position at the federal level that we should reject the most radical bill I’ve ever seen introduced by Senator Schumer and his colleagues that will allow abortion up to the moment of birth that is extreme in every fashion. And we should be talking about legislation for the nation as a whole that would put us in line with the science and the civilized world so I look forward to the debate. I look forward to the vote. If we take back the house and the Senate, I can assure you will have a vote on our bill. If the Democrats are in charge, I don’t know if we’ll ever have our vote on our bill. Thank you. And I’ll turn it back over.
Thank you. Thank you, Senator Graham. So for 50 years, we had been fighting for the moment that we could allow the will of the people of this nation state by state and on the federal level to make its way into the law on this issue that has divided us for 50 years, polarized our politics, has made consensus building impossible. And so we began June 24th of this year was the first day of building that consensus. Europe had that privilege, every nation state had that privilege that we did not have, and it took them a while to land where they are at a civilized place. We are just beginning now, therefore it shouldn’t be too surprising that there’s a lot of vitriol, a lot of anger, a lot of lying to obfuscate the reality of this contrast that Senator Graham just communicated but there’s one thing is very clear and that is that our opponents and Senate battle grounds and house battle grounds, and the democratic leadership of this body is not interested at all in consensus.
They’re not interested in the democratic process. They’re interested in imposing one view, a 10% view on the rest of the country. And once again, wiping laws off the books that are beginning to build that consensus in states. So if you’re a pro-American or you’re a pro-democracy, then you got to before allowing the will of the people to make its way into the law. 75% of women, according to the Harvard Harris poll recently support this bill. So this idea that somehow women’s rights demand 100% abortion up until the end denying the instinct of mothers and the instinct of any civilized society is just plain wrong. Women’s rights can never be built on the broken rights of other people. So 75% sounds about right in this country. Thank you. And next is Carol Tobias.
Carol Tobias: (10:20)
[inaudible 00:10:20] Thank you, Marjorie. I am Carol Tobias. I’m the president of the National Right to Life committee. And I am here to express our strong support for the protecting pain capable unborn children from late term abortions act and we commend Senator Lindsay Graham and Congressman Chris Smith for reintroducing this legislation. This bill, very reasonable bill, would protect unborn children at 15 weeks. A point which science shows that the unborn child is capable of feeling great pain when killed by dismemberment or other late abortion methods. It stands in stark contrast to the Democrat support of radical legislation like the so-called Women’s Health Protection Act, the WHPA would establish abortion on demand with no limits throughout pregnancy as federal law while proponents of the WHPA claim the bill would codify Roe V. Wade don’t be fooled, it goes much, much further. Reasonable limits such as parental consent or women’s right to know laws which were possible under Roe V. Wade would not be allowed under the WHPA.
Carol Tobias: (11:29)
In addition, tax dollars would flow throughout the country to pay for abortion. In a Fox News poll conducted the spring respondents were asked, and what about a law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, except in the case of medical emergency, would you favor or oppose that in your state? Of those responding, 54% favored such a law and only 41% opposed. Disregarding the will of the American people the only thing the Democrats are offering to this country is more babies killed by abortion. The findings in this legislation clearly footnoted provide detailed information about the development of the unborn child and the ability of that child to feel pain. I encourage all legislators, Republican, and Democrat to support this very modest, very humane proposal. Thank you.
Catherine Foster, Americans United for Life.
Catherine Glenn Foster: (12:28)
Good afternoon. I’m Catherine Glenn Foster president and CEO of Americans United for Life. We work with advocates and lawmakers to advance the human right to life in culture, law, and policy. The Supreme court has finally reversed Roe V. Wade, and we celebrate that important step, but it is only a step. We are at an inflection point in American history. We’re at this turning point in the cause for the human right to life and the Supreme Court righted its historic wrong in Roe, but the tragic effects of Roe and the deadly consequences of the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence remain with us today. When Roe was imposed in 1973, virtually no one believed that the constitution contained any right to abortion and virtually no state permitted abortion in any circumstance. Today, more than two dozen states embrace nearly unlimited abortion. Why? Because the law is a teacher and the states and the American people took seriously the wrongheaded lessons of Roe V. Wade.
Catherine Glenn Foster: (13:34)
Americans in too many states have been taught that unlimited extreme pro-abortion laws are not simply worth defending, but even worth celebrating. So Roe is gone, but its consequences live on. In dubs, the Supreme Court handed authority over abortion to lawmakers to protect human life. Today, we take that next step in the cause for the human right to life. We must enshrine authentic and life giving law and policy that moves us closer to liberty and justice for all. We’re here today to advance a law that will protect the lives of millions of Americans yet unborn. And we are here today because we know that America should join our international peers, aligning our laws with at least our European peers where abortion is widely prohibited at 15 weeks or even earlier.
Catherine Glenn Foster: (14:28)
To achieve a brighter American future, a future full of hope, we must achieve consensus on the common sense of pain, capable protections for American children. And we must enshrine in law protection for our most vulnerable citizens. I am proud to stand alongside Senator Lindsey Graham and every friend of life in congress ready to take this important step today. I know that together we will fight and we will win in the continuing war for the heart and the soul of America. Americans are ready for a pro-life future. Americans will see and remember the courage of every member of Congress willing to step up and protect America’s youngest persons. Let’s get it done. Thank you.
Jeanne Mancini: (15:19)
Great, good afternoon. I’m Jeanne Mancini . I’m honored to be president of the March for Life. And today I speak on behalf of the collective millions of Americans who’ve marched for life over the last 50 years to get to this day, to get to the day where Roe is overturned but to get to the second phase I would say in building a culture of life in the United States of America. We’re so very grateful to you Senator Graham for introducing the protecting pain capable unborn children from late turn abortion act so thank you. Now I do want to say this, this act provides the bare minimum protections for vulnerable unborn children, consistent with what we know about late term abortion from science as well as we’ve already heard, where Americans stand on the issue. So to flip that 10% statistic that we keep hearing about, 90% of Americans to be clear reject the view that abortion should be legal up until birth.
Jeanne Mancini: (16:12)
90% of Americans reject the view that abortion should be legal up until birth, which is what the Women’s Health Protection Act stood for. Politicians voting against this bill will stand not only against science, but they will stand against the American public, not to mention standing against basic compassion for women and unborn children. Let me say that one more time. Politicians voting against this bill will stand against science and against the American public, not to mention basic compassion for women and babies. The pro-life movement is defined by compassion for women and babies. That is what we are about. It is our heartbeat. We have our work cut out for us at this particular day and age and at the March for Life we work for the day when abortion is unthinkable but in this day with this bill, we will work to protect the unborn women and families.
Jeanne Mancini: (17:11)
The humanity of the unborn child is undeniable, particularly at 15 weeks. The US as we’ve heard is one of just a handful of countries including China and North Korea that allow this gruesome late term elective abortion this late. In this heated environment, we challenge all elected officials on both sides of the aisle to bring the country together in this common sense consensus in unity protecting the vulnerable unborn children who can feel pain. We at the March for Life will continue to rally the pro-life grassroots to help make this act, this act that would protect the most vulnerable among us a law. Thank you.
Speaker 1: (17:58)
Okay. You have been listening in to some of these pro-life advocates and activists alongside Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, as he announced this piece of legislation that would essentially be a nationwide abortion ban, which would codify abortion restrictions at the federal level after 15 weeks of pregnancy. And so Senator Graham proposed that piece of legislation today to which other fellow lawmakers are responding. I want to just read out to you what Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell thinks about this. He was asked about it. He said, “I think most of the members of my conference prefer that this be dealt with at the state level.” So it doesn’t look like Mitch McConnell is eager to put this up for debate or for a vote anytime soon. Also speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement on this as well saying, “The nationwide abortion ban proposal put forth today is the latest clearest signal of extreme mega Republicans intent to criminalize women’s health freedom in all 50 states and arrest doctors for providing basic care.” She says, “Make no mistake, if Republicans get the chance they’ll work to pass laws, even more draconian than this bill, just like the bans they’ve enacted in states like Texas, Mississippi, and Oklahoma.” So we just wanted to get that in there. No doubt abortion is going to be a major lightning rod issue as voters head to the polls. Now 56 days from now in November, also-