Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) plans to lead Senate Republicans in a push for a federal ban on abortions after the end of the 20th week of pregnancy.
The measure is a companion to the House-passed Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that was led by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ).
“Science tells us that unborn babies can feel touch as soon as eight weeks into the pregnancy; they feel pain at 20 weeks,” said Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), leading the debate on the floor of the House.
According to the Washington Examiner, Republican aides in both chambers of Congress confirmed that Graham is the lead sponsor of the Senate bill and will introduce the measure in the coming week.
Concerns among Republican senators about the proposal have included one from pro-life Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who said thought should be given regarding the constitutionality of invoking Congress’ authority to regulate commerce as the basis for the legislation. President Obama’s attorneys invoked the same constitutional provision to defend ObamaCare’s individual mandate.
The Supreme Court upheld a partial-birth abortion ban rooted in the Commerce Clause in 2003. Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, however, emphasized in a concurring opinion that “the court’s abortion jurisprudence… has no basis in the Constitution.”
The justices added that “whether the Act constitutes a permissible exercise of Congress’ power under the Commerce Clause is not before the Court.”
Recently, liberal Constitutional attorney Alan Dershowitz said there has never been any constitutional right to abortion in the Constitution.
By introducing a measure such as an abortion ban, Graham may be hoping to bolster his effort to keep primary challengers at bay.
As Breitbart News’ Michael Patrick Leahy reported in July, Graham is being challenged in the 2014 South Carolina Republican primary:
Tea Party groups across the state unanimously oppose Graham. They view him as a RINO who does not support the constitutionally limited government values of the movement. However, to date they have not coalesced around a single challenger.