Republican Senator Lindsay Graham recently introduced a federal bill that would make abortion a felony for women across America after 15 weeks, except in the case of rape or the mother’s life. At first glance, you might think this is a reasonable compromise by the Republicans, but don’t be fooled. It is nothing more than an attempt to replace our democracy with a radical Christian theocracy and impose the tyranny of a minority over the will of the American people.
First, this bill illuminates the hypocrisy of Republicans who argued that abortion laws must be determined by the states, not the federal government. This was the very argument made by the Trump-appointed Federalist Society-approved Supreme Court justices in the recent Dobbs decision, when it held that abortion is not a federally protected right because it was not specifically mentioned in the Constitution.
Second, this bill does not replace more restrictive state abortion bans already in place. Thus, states that have a total ban with no exceptions for the life of the mother, rape or incest will be able to keep their laws in place while states like New York that have more expansive abortion laws will be forced to limit their own citizens’ reproductive rights so as not to violate federal law.
Third, the Graham bill makes no exception for maternal health or fetal abnormality. Thus, a woman and her doctor would have to prove that a woman would actually die without an abortion or face prosecution for illegal abortion. Mothers and doctors will have to include their lawyers in the operating room, and doctors will certainly think twice about performing even a medically warranted legal abortion if it means possibly facing criminal prosecution and loss of their medical licenses. It cannot be overstated how inhumane it is to force a woman to carry a pregnancy to term when her fetus will die shortly after birth.
A Republican majority in the Congress and Senate would certainly pass the Graham bill into law. The only way to protect reproductive freedoms, including abortion and contraception, is to vote for women’s rights champions to represent us in Congress. Bridget Fleming is just such a champion. As a woman, mother and assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted sex crimes, Bridget will make sure that women do not become second class citizens. She will fight so women can receive the medical procedures they need. Bridget’s Republican opponent, Nick LaLota, will not. Mr. LaLota is a Trump supporter and MAGA Republican. He is way too extreme for New York.
The stakes could not be higher for the women we love, but the choice is clear. Vote for Bridget Fleming on November 8.
Vice-Chair, Southampton Town Democratic Committee
One fine body…