Cortney O'Brien

As Katie reported earlier today, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is leading a new nationwide anti-abortion bill, The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, in the Senate. The lifesaving legislation, which is already law in Texas, would prohibit abortion at 20 weeks. The senator held a press conference this morning with pro-life leaders to further discuss the law he says would save more than 15,000 unborn children each year.

Graham, who spearheaded former pro-life legislation such as the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, explained to the media his sincerity in moving this new bill forward. Although Roe v. Wade determined women could have abortions up until the point of viability, usually around 24 weeks, Graham and his co-sponsors believe the advancements made in science and technology, which have helped people understand just how developed an unborn child is at 20 weeks, prove “it’s time to have a discussion.”

“Go to WebMD – check it out," he said. “At 20 weeks, it urges parents to sing to their child – even if you can’t sing well […] Should we be silent when it comes to protecting these unborn children entering the sixth month of pregnancy? Or is it incumbent on us to speak up and act on their behalf? I say we must speak up and act.”

He ensured the legislation would only yield positive results as more children will have the chance to experience life.

“Nothing bad is going to happen – only good. Only God knows who they will grow up to be.”

Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who also spoke at the presser, has complete confidence in Graham sitting in the bill’s driver’s seat and also marveled at the incredible scientific advancements that have made such legislation necessary.

“He hears the voices of those that can’t be heard […] With all of the innovative medical treatments now available, more Americans are realizing that we are talking about children that deserve protection and overwhelmingly believe that we need a law like this."

Along with Sen. Portman, pro-life leaders in attendance agreed that Graham is the right man for the job. Darla St. Martin, co-executive director of the National Right to Life Committee, for instance, told Townhall why she is fully behind him.

We’ve got our best shot with Lindsey Graham,” she said. “He is a great author and an extremely articulate spokesperson. He engages senators in both parties. I think everyone who saw him today was impressed.”

Maureen Ferguson, the Senior Policy Advisor for the Catholic Association, shared St. Martin’s confidence in the senator from South Carolina.

“I think he has a demonstrated record of bringing people together,” she told Townhall. “He is the perfect man for the perfect issue.”

But, these pro-life leaders’ belief in Graham is stronger than their confidence in the legislation itself, for past pro-life bills have taken years to come to fruition.

“We look upon this as a process,” said St. Martin. “We will at least try to get a vote. There’s no excuse for them not to give a vote.”

Even if the bill takes years to become reality, Marjorie Dannefelser, president of the pro-life organization Susan B. Anthony List, remarked that Graham’s introduction of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in the Senate is a good start.

“I believe that future decades will mark this day as one when America lived up to its greatness and charted a new course – a course for life, for women and children, and for hope.”

Here is the list of 34 co-sponsors who have signed on to the bill thus far:

Ayotte, Kelly – (R – NH)

Barrasso, John - (R - WY)

Blunt, Roy - (R - MO)

Boozman, John - (R - AR)

Burr, Richard - (R – NC)

Chambliss, Saxby - (R - GA)

Coats, Daniel - (R - IN)

Coburn, Tom - (R - OK)

Cochran, Thad - (R - MS)

Cornyn, John - (R - TX)

Crapo, Mike - (R - ID)

Cruz, Ted - (R - TX)

Enzi, Michael B. - (R - WY)

Fischer, Deb - (R - NE)

Flake, Jeff - (R - AZ)

Grassley, Chuck - (R - IA)

Hatch, Orrin G. - (R - UT)

Hoeven, John - (R - ND)

Inhofe, James M. - (R - OK)

Isakson, Johnny - (R - GA)

Johanns, Mike - (R - NE)

Johnson, Ron - (R - WI)

McCain, John - (R - AZ)

McConnell, Mitch - (R - KY)

Moran, Jerry - (R - KS)

Portman, Rob - (R - OH)

Risch, James E. - (R - ID)

Roberts, Pat - (R - KS)

Rubio, Marco - (R - FL)

Scott, Tim - (R - SC)

Shelby, Richard C. - (R - AL)

Thune, John - (R - SD)

Vitter, David - (R - LA)

Wicker, Roger F. - (R - MS)


Cortney O'Brien

Cortney O'Brien is a Townhall web editor. Follow her on Twitter @obrienc2.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography