Cantwell Statement on Graham-Led GOP Bill Establishing Nationwide Abortion Ban After 15 Weeks

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced a bill that would establish a near-total abortion ban nationwide after 15 weeks. U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) issued the following statement in response:

“Washingtonians voted to protect abortion rights by a statewide initiative in 1991. Senator Graham’s bill would overrule those rights. I’m against it,” Sen. Cantwell said.

More than 30 years ago, voters in Washington state approved Initiative 120, which codified the protections previously established under Roe v. Wade and cemented the right of every Washingtonian to choose to have an abortion up to the point of fetal viability, or if the pregnant woman’s health is at risk. Sen. Graham’s bill marks the latest attack on reproductive freedom from an extremist GOP, which continues to strip away women’s rights to control their own bodies and plan their own families.

Sen. Cantwell has been fighting hard to protect the rights of women to make their own decisions about their reproductive health. In July, she joined several Democratic colleagues speaking out in support of a bill that would have protected the rights of pregnant people to travel to pro-choice states, as well as the rights of health care providers to treat patients from anti-choice states. Sen. Cantwell also called on the U.S. Department of Justice to provide clarity on current law protecting patients and providers.

Sen. Cantwell additionally cosponsored the My Body, My Data Act, which would minimize the personal reproductive health data collected by apps and websites and create a new standard for protecting that data enforceable by the Federal Trade Commission. She is also an original cosponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act, a bicameral bill that would guarantee equal access to abortion across the United States.

“Anti-choice state laws threaten to roll back years of progress on a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body. Washington state made that right law, but a woman’s right to reproductive health care shouldn’t depend on which state she lives in,” Sen. Cantwell said upon introducing the WHPA.