POLITICS
11/01/2013 04:17 pm ET Updated Nov 01, 2013

Lindsey Graham Will Put 20-Week Abortion Ban Before Senate: Report

AP

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) plans to introduce a bill next week that would ban all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, according to the Washington Examiner.

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which the House passed in June, would bar abortions several weeks before the fetus is viable based on the medically disputed theory that fetuses at that age can feel pain. The House version was amended at the last minute to include exceptions for rape and incest victims, after an all-male panel of Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee had approved a bill with an exception only for the life of the mother.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said he wanted to be the lead sponsor of the Senate companion bill earlier this year, but he hesitated when he and his colleagues could not come to a consensus on which part of the Constitution gave them the power to pass such a bill.

Several states, including Texas, Nebraska and Arizona, have enacted their own bans on abortion after 20 weeks, and the city of Albuquerque, N.M., will put the measure on its November ballot. But the constitutionality of the law remains in question.

In August 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit temporarily blocked the Arizona law on the grounds that it violated the Supreme Court precedent protecting a woman's right to have an abortion up until the fetus is viable -- around 24 weeks of pregnancy. Arizona has petitioned the Supreme Court to review its case, and this week 16 state attorneys general, some of whom don't even have a 20-week ban on their books, weighed in on Arizona's side. If the justices uphold the law in Horne v. Isaacson, their decision could open the door for many more states to pass gestational limits on abortion before viability.

Graham did not respond to The Huffington Post's request for comment.

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