Abortion Battle Unfolding in Senate Today Over Graham Bill

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) will introduce the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in the Senate today, prompting a trio of Democrats to plan late-morning floor speeches to tell him they'll block the bill.

Graham plans to announce his bill, joined by pro-life leaders, at an 11:30 a.m. press conference. The senator estimates the legislation would save 15,000 lives each year by banning abortion after 20 weeks.

The act would make it illegal for any person to perform, or attempt to perform, an abortion without first making a determination of the probable post-fertilization age of the unborn child. There are exceptions for the life of the mother, rape, and incest involving a minor.

Violators who perform such an abortion could face up to five years in prison. The woman seeking the abortion faces no penalties.

Companion legislation passed the House in June by a vote of 228-196.

Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) promptly planned a colloquy for late morning on the Senate floor "to make clear that a politically motivated bill that would severely restrict women’s access to reproductive care is a non-starter in the Senate," according to Murray's office.

The trio branded the bill as "an abortion ban that is being championed by right-wing special interest groups as part of their nationwide campaign to restrict women’s health care access."