Lindsay Graham confronted over US abortion ban by woman who delivered baby ‘incompatible with life’

Lindsey Graham sits in a chair during a Senate Judiciary Committee on data security

After proposing a US-wide ban on abortion, Lindsey Graham was confronted woman who chose to deliver her baby despite it having a fatal abnormality.

The Republican was confronted by a protesters as he launched his proposal for a nationwide ban on 15-week abortions.

Among the protesters was Ashley Beasley, who told anti-abortion supporters that she took the choice to give birth to a baby who had developed an abnormality in the 16th week of her pregnancy.

She explained that her son, who died eight days after being born, was “incompatible with life.”

“We were allowed to make that choice for him,” Beasley said, reported The Independent.

“You would be robbing that choice from those women. What would you say to someone like me?”

Graham replied, looking uncomfortable: “[The] world has pretty much spoken on this issue. The developed world has said at this stage of the pregnancy, the child feels pain, and we’re saying we’re going to join the rest of the world and not be like Iran.

“As to your particular case, there will be exceptions for the life of the mother, rape, and incest.”

The South Carolina Republican proposed what he’s called the Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children From Late-Term Abortions Act” during a conference on Tuesday (13 September).

He said the US should have a “federal level” law banning 15-week abortions.

“If we take back the House and the Senate, I can assure you we’ll have a vote,” Graham said. “If the Democrats are in charge, I don’t know if we’ll ever have a vote.”

The proposal has left much of the US stunned in what some have called a “mask off” moment for Graham, who has previously said that abortion-related laws should be decided at a state level.

Senator Mitch McConnell responded to the proposed bill by assuring “most of the members of my conference prefer that this will be dealt with at the state level”.

‘Wildy out of step’

The White House condemned Graham’s proposal in a statement from press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who said that “this bill is wildly out of step with what Americans believe”

“While president Biden and vice-president Harris are focused on the historic passage of the Inflation Reduction Act to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, health care, and energy – and to take unprecedented action to address climate change – Republicans in Congress are focused on taking rights away from millions of women,” said Jean-Pierre.

Additionally, Democratic speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi decried the policy as the “latest, clearest signal of extreme MAGA Republicans’ intent to criminalise women’s health freedom in all 50 states and arrest doctors for providing basic care”.

This marks the sixth time Graham has attempted to introduce a national ban on abortion. His previous draft from 2021 proposed that abortion should be outlawed at 20 weeks.

“I don’t believe abortion, five months into pregnancy, makes us a better nation,” Graham said in the 2021 proposal. “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.”

After Graham’s latest bid,  Fox News chief political anchor Bret Baier has warned Republicans that they are “going down the wrong road”, saying that proposing further restrictions on abortion will prove incredibly unpopular after the overturning of Roe v Wade.

According to polling from 15 July, around 57 per cent of Americans disapproved of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade, and 62 per cent felt abortion should be legal in all or most cases.