September 14, 2022

GOP Senator introduces a federal abortion ban that would limit abortion rights in New Mexico, nationwide

Susan Dunlap

U.S. Capitol building Washington D.C. 2022

South Carolina U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican, introduced legislation on Tuesday intended to create a federal 15-week ban on abortion with few exceptions.

Senate Democrats and reproductive advocates and experts denounced Graham’s efforts to ban abortion at the federal level at 15 weeks gestation. If the bill becomes law, it would not supersede states with greater restrictions, but it would restrict abortion in states, such as New Mexico, where there are currently no restrictions on abortion. 

While Graham’s bill would allow exceptions for incest, rape and maternal health, doctors in states with abortion bans already in place are often uncertain of what medically constitutes exceptions for maternal health.

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, a New Mexico Democrat, told NM Political Report through email that this bill takes away “American’s rights to make their own pregnancy decisions” and that it “is dangerous and needs to be defeated.”

U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján, a New Mexico Democrat, told NM Political Report through email that “you can bet Democrats are going to fight this ridiculous attempt for a national ban on abortion from the GOP.”

In July the nonpartisan fact tank, Pew Research Center reported that 62 percent of Americans believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases. In addition, 57 percent, or six-in-ten adults, disapproved of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade in June.

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine said in a statement that Graham’s bill is “willfully deceptive and an irresponsible dissemination of misinformation.”

“The bill is intrusive, not medically or scientifically sound and codifies a severe violation of American civil rights,” Melissa Grigsby, ASRM director of Communications and Media Relations, said.

Graham said that if Republicans win control of the U.S. Congress in November, the bill would be considered. Currently, with a 50-50 split in the U.S. Senate, the bill is not expected to reach the Senate floor for a vote.