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Senate Republicans Reintroduce 20-Week Abortion Ban

Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) presented the bill on Thursday alongside other party leaders

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reintroduced a bill on Thursday alongside other GOP leaders to ban abortions in this country after 20 weeks.

Abortion is a heated legal, philosophical and moral topic that’s been hotly debated for decades. Right now the abortion procedure is legal, but there are restrictions at the state and federal level. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would ensure that abortions cannot be performed 20 weeks after fertilization.

“There are only seven countries that allow wholesale abortions at the 20-week period, including China and North Korea,” Graham said in a statement provided to LifeZette.

“The United States should not be in that club. I don’t believe abortion, five months into pregnancy, makes us a better nation. America is at her best when she’s standing up for the least among us, and the sooner we pass this legislation into law, the better. We are on the right side of history,” he also said.

Related: Abortion Doula Is ‘Thrilled’ About Helping to End Thousands of Pregnancies

Graham introduced the bill during the previous congressional session. But the legislation eventually sputtered after first advancing for a couple of weeks. The results of the midterm elections last year — the splitting of congressional control — have made passing the bill even more challenging. House Democrats were able to gain a majority.

The March for Life, which takes place on Friday in Washington, D.C., also brings the abortion issue front and center. Senate Republicans also plan to discuss a bill that would prohibit taxpayer-funded abortions later Thursday. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) filed cloture on a bill this week to prevent insurance claims for abortions.

Senate Judiciary Committee members Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) also helped in reintroducing the bill.

Related: Good News for the March for Life, Bad News for the Women’s March 

Supporters of the bill argue it would provide common-sense protections for unborn children. They argue there is significant scientific evidence that abortion inflicts tremendous pain on unborn children five months into a pregnancy. This is why anesthesia is administered directly to the unborn child in second-trimester fetal surgery.

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act does include some caveats its abortion ban. The bill allows an abortion to be performed if it is necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman or if the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest against a minor. Any woman who was raped can get access to abortion if she’s received medical treatment or counseling two days beforehand.

An abortion can then only proceed in a manner that provides the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive, unless that puts the pregnant woman is at risk.

Related: March for Life 2018: ‘This Is Actually a Child Forming in the Womb’

The abortion provider must also receive informed consent from the pregnant woman, certifying that she has been provided the gestational age, a description of the law, and her rights under the law.

The woman can bring a civil action against the abortion provider if that individual violates the act.

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