Does Lindsey Graham have a good compromise or is he hurting his party?
Most EU nations allow legal abortion up to between 15-17 weeks. Ergo they've reached a compromise for all residents. Should the US work towards a similar national approach? Is Graham trying to provide the Republicans with a position that the middle can live with?
Meanwhile, the Dems will ride the Roe v Wade horse with success.
Lindsey Graham Defends Abortion Proposal Despite GOP Worries
Some Republicans would rather focus on economy, border issues headed into midterms
‘I’m pro-life, even in an election year,’ Sen. Lindsey Graham said on ‘Fox News Sunday.’
By Alex Leary, WSJ
Sept. 18, 2022 2:02 pm ET
WASHINGTON—Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) defended his proposal to ban doctors from performing abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, even as concerns continued to rise among fellow Republicans worried about the proposal’s impact on the midterm elections.
“I’m pro-life, even in an election year,” Mr. Graham said on “Fox News Sunday.” “And to those who suggest that being pro-life is losing politics, I reject that. So, listen to what I’m saying and you decide today who you’re with.”
In June, the Supreme Court ended the federal right to an abortion, leaving the matter to the states and setting off a flurry of new abortion-related laws in state capitals to restrict or protect access. The ruling came as Republicans are hoping this fall to win back the Senate, currently split 50-50 and controlled by Democrats. About a dozen seats are considered competitive in the November contests.
Mr. Graham introduced his bill on Tuesday, and it swiftly drew criticism from Democrats, who have rallied around abortion access following the court’s ruling and termed his proposal a national abortion ban. Some antiabortion Republicans also gave the bill a chilly reception, saying that the proposal, which has no chance of passage, simply served to motivate Democratic voters and that Congress should stay out of the matter for now.
Last week, several top Republicans including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), said abortion policy should be left to the states. Sen. Mike Rounds (R., S.D.) echoed those comments Sunday.
“I think right now we should allow the states to explore the different possibilities about the appropriate way,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
The intensity of the abortion-access issue for Democratic voters has posed a problem for GOP candidates, many of whom want to emphasize the economy, crime and immigration instead. Mr. Graham’s announcement last week was seen as a distraction from the release of worse than expected inflation numbers, which sent the stock market tumbling.
A new poll out Sunday from NBC News showed Republicans with big advantages among voters on the economy, crime and border security, while Democrats were heavily favored on abortion and healthcare.
Any abortion bill would require 60 votes to advance in the Senate. Mr. Graham, who had previously said the matter should be left us to the states, said his bill was needed as a response to a legislation passed earlier this year by House Democrats that would ensure a right to an abortion through fetal viability, or around 21 to 24 weeks. That, too, lacks votes for passage in the Senate.
Mr. Graham, who had previously wrote legislation banning abortion at 20 weeks, defended his effort to pass federal laws.
“I’m not inconsistent,” he said. “To suggest that I’m new to the game opposing late term abortion is ridiculous.”
Mr. Graham has said his bill wouldn’t apply the ban to situations involving rape or incest or when a mother’s health is at risk.
A Wall Street Journal poll conducted in August found that 57% of voters opposed a ban on abortions at 15 weeks that included an exception only for the health of the mother. The survey showed opposition from 38% of Republicans, 55% of independents and 77% of Democrats.
Write to Alex Leary at firstname.lastname@example.org
Appeared in the September 19, 2022, print edition as 'Graham Defends His Bill on Abortion'.