Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday said he’s “confident” the vast majority of Americans support a national ban on abortion despite recent election results showing otherwise.
The Republican senator last week joined other GOP lawmakers to introduce laws outlawing abortion at 15 weeks of pregnancy, the newest Republican step against abortion following the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade in June.
Graham’s bill incorporates exceptions for rape, incest and situations through which the mother’s life is at risk.
“I’m confident the American people would accept a national ban on abortion at 15 weeks,” Graham told “Fox News Sunday.” “And to those that suggest that being pro-life is losing politics, I reject that.”
Election results from the past month contradict Graham’s assertion.
Democrat Pat Ryan’s win within the special election in Recent York’s nineteenth Congressional District last month was a warning to Republicans that abortion could also be a losing issue for them this season. Ryan ran a campaign focused on painting Republicans as extremists on the problem, telling The Washington Post the race should “be a national referendum on Roe.”
Voters in deeply conservative Kansas supported keeping abortion protections within the state structure by a double-digit margin earlier in August.
Democrats are spending tens of hundreds of thousands of dollars in ads targeting GOP candidates in key battleground states, including Pennsylvania, for his or her positions on abortion.
Republican candidates within the midterms are also removing references to abortion from their campaign web sites, apparently to obscure their positions in fear of backlash over Supreme Court decision.
Even a few of Graham’s own colleagues within the Senate have resisted supporting his bill.
“A lot of the members in my conference prefer this be handled on the state level,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said.
Yet, Graham doesn’t look like backing down.
“I won’t sit on the sidelines and watch this nation turn into China on the subject of aborting babies up-to-the-minute of birth,” Graham said.
The senator also rejected criticism that the bill reverses his earlier position to go away abortion to the states.
“When a lawmaker goes from touting states’ rights to touting a nationwide ban, it becomes clear that they’re not concerned with the Structure,” President Joe Biden wrote on Twitter, in an apparent reference to Graham.
Graham previously welcomed the Dobbs decision, which allows each state to set its own rules around abortion.
“Here’s what Dobbs says: Elected officials could make the choice, state or federal. I’m not inconsistent,” Graham told “Fox News Sunday.”
His bill, which has no probability of passing under the currently Democrat-controlled Senate, doesn’t prevent states from enacting more restrictive bans.
On Friday, West Virginia became the newest state to heavily restrict abortion, enacting a sweeping ban with exceptions for rape and incest victims inside a limited window of time and for medical emergencies.