For Immediate Release: Tuesday, February 2, 2021
South Carolina — Last week U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced a cruel bill (S. 3275) to ban abortion later in pregnancy. Graham has introduced the same bill in the last four sessions of Congress. The bill is sponsored by a slate of anti-choice Republicans, including Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC).
More than 7,000 South Carolinians have lost their lives to COVID-19, and over 440,000 cases have been reported in the last year. Graham’s decision to make attacking reproductive freedom his top priority in the 2021 Congressional session reflects an increasingly extreme Republican Party that couldn’t be more out of touch with the needs of its constituents — not to mention the 77% of Americans who support Roe v. Wade and the legal right to abortion.
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue released the following statement in response:
“This bill tells us everything we need to know about where Senator Lindsey Graham’s priorities lie. As millions of Americans struggle in the midst of a still-raging pandemic, extreme anti-choice Republicans remain hell-bent on denying people the fundamental freedom to determine their own lives, destinies, and futures.
The reality is that abortion later in pregnancy has been intentionally weaponized by anti-choice politicians like Graham trying to mask their own out-of-touch agenda. Graham and his fellow ideological extremists in Congress know their opposition to reproductive freedom is unpopular, so they resort to inflammatory rhetoric that has no basis in reality or science in order to manipulate people. And that’s exactly what he is doing with this cruel and unconstitutional bill.”
Recent polling of South Carolina voters in key state Senate districts found that a large majority (67%) of voters believe that abortion should be legal and that the government should not prevent a woman from making that decision for herself. In South Carolina, 71% of women live in counties with no abortion clinic. With Roe in the crosshairs, the stakes for women, people who are pregnant, and families are higher than ever.
The title and premise of Graham’s bill are predicated on medically inaccurate disinformation and misleading claims about abortion later in pregnancy, part of a broader playbook by the anti-choice movement to elevate inflammatory rhetoric around abortion care.
Less than 2% of abortion care takes place later in pregnancy, and almost always because something has gone wrong, such as a risk to the pregnant person’s health or a lethal fetal diagnosis. People also face a web of barriers, including restrictions, travel distance to a clinic, or not being able to afford care, all of which can push abortion care out of reach or later into pregnancy.
South Carolina already has some of the most severe restrictions on reproductive freedom in the United States, which include forcing a pregnant person to wait 24 hours before they can access abortion care and subjecting people to mandatory biased counseling. These restrictions disproportionately harm BIPOC, low-income, and rural communities, and are part of a coordinated effort by the Radical Right to maintain white patriarchal control at all costs.
A recent media analysis conducted by Global Strategy Group found that coverage of abortion in top-tier print outlets often parrots disinformation-based rhetoric, using medically inaccurate or inflammatory language without sufficient context or explanation, excludes the voices of medical experts and pregnant people, and lacks proper context on public opinion of abortion (that the majority of Americans support reproductive freedom). Visit Tell the Whole Story for resources on ensuring fair, accurate, and inclusive coverage.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters have fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom—including access to abortion, contraception, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 7 in 10 Americans who believe every person should have the freedom to make the best decision for themselves about if, when, and how to raise a family.