UPDATE – (12:15 p.m. on Wednesday, September 14)
- Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) on Tuesday introduced the Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act in the United States Senate. The legislation would set a federal minimum protection for unborn children that is in line with European limits and ban abortion after 15 weeks gestation when unborn children can feel pain, Graham says.
- On Wednesday, Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaiʻi) delivered remarks on the Senate floor speaking out against the “radical nationwide abortion ban”, saying that under Graham’s proposal, such a ban would include states like Hawaiʻi where abortion currently remains legal.
From Senator Hirono’s full remarks delivered on the senate floor:
“When the extreme far-right Supreme Court overturned Roe, my Republican colleagues lauded this horrendous decision, claiming that a woman’s right to an abortion should be left to the states.
“But now they are admitting what we knew all along. This was never about states’ rights. This has always been about Republicans using their power to control women and our bodily autonomy.
“Despite the fact that the vast majority of the American public supports reproductive freedom, and despite the fact that voters across the country are overwhelmingly voting to protect this freedom, Republicans are pandering to their extreme MAGA base and have introduced a nationwide ban on abortion after 15 weeks.
“Why 15 weeks, you ask? Because that’s what the senior Senator from South Carolina, who introduced this legislation, said he would quote ‘feel comfortable at.’ So, we now have a Republican Senator attempting to restrict the bodily of autonomy of women across the country, because that’s what he ‘feels comfortable at.’ It’s not enough that the overturning of Roe has created fear and confusion all across the country, we now have the introduction of a nationwide abortion ban further adding to the chaos.
“This is not some sort of hypothetical debate, or ‘hysteria’ as some of my Republican colleagues have claimed. If Republicans take control of the Senate, we now know what they will do—they will work to pass a national abortion ban, which would mean even in my home state of Hawaii—which was the first state in the country to decriminalize abortion, even before the Roe decision—we did this in Hawaii in 1970.
“And for voters in states who are pushing back against their radical legislators, and exercising their right to bring the issue of abortion to the ballot—including states like Kansas and Michigan—this bill would overrule their efforts. But of course, to add to their utter hypocrisy, if states like Texas or Mississippi want to be even more restrictive, even more harmful to women than a 15 week ban, that would be a-ok according to the Senator from South Carolina and his extreme bill.
“Allowing Republicans to regain control of Congress would be catastrophic not only for women, but for our entire country. Because when we women can’t control what we do with our bodies, of course this impacts our families, our communities, our economy.
“And so, this November, people are going to have a choice—do you want to let extreme MAGA Republicans tell you what you can and can’t do with your own body? Or do you want to hold these politicians accountable for pushing their far-right extreme agenda, and perpetuating the chaos, confusion and fear that women, families, communities, and our health care professionals—let’s not forget all the doctors who are out there wondering how they can provide the kind of care that they are trained to do right now; how they can do that in the face of this kind of ban in so many states across the country, not to mention a nationwide abortion ban.
“So the chaos, confusion, being experienced all across the country following the Dobbs decision is only multiplied by this nationwide abortion ban bill. Talk about government overreach. When I hear my colleagues talking about how it should be states’ rights or government should not be telling us what to do, the word ‘hypocrites’ doesn’t even go far enough to call them out on what they’re doing.
“This is an outright attack on women in this country. That is how I see it, that is how more and more women, and those who support our right to make decisions about our own bodies—that is how we see it. And why? Because that is what’s happening.”