Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C) said on Sunday that he is confident the American people will accept a 15-week national ban on abortion.
“I am confident the American people would accept a national ban on abortion at 15 weeks,” Graham told Fox News Sunday anchor Shannon Bream. “And to those who suggest that being pro-life is losing politics, I reject that.”
According to a CBS News/YouGov poll conducted in May, after a draft opinion suggesting the Supreme Court would overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked, 67% of Americans oppose a federal law that would make abortion illegal. That includes 76% of Democrats and 52% of Republicans.
Graham’s comments come days after he proposed legislation banning the procedure after 15 weeks nationwide. Graham’s proposal allows for exceptions in cases of rape, incest and to save the life of the mother. The bill would leave more restrictive abortion laws unchanged, but changed the laws in states like New York that allows abortion up to 24 weeks.
Graham had previously said the issue of abortion should be left up to states. Asked about this pivot on Sunday, Graham said he has introduced legislation banning abortion at 20-weeks multiple times in the Senate.
“Here’s what Dobbs says: elected officials can make the decision, state or federal. I’m not inconsistent,” he said, adding, “I will not sit on the sidelines and watch this nation become China when it comes to aborting babies up to the moment of birth. I reject that. I will continue to introduce legislation at the national level setting a minimum standard at 15 weeks.”
But, Graham’s bill is even getting pushback from Senate Republican leadership. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told reporters on Tuesday that “most of the members of my conference prefer that this be dealt with at the state level.” Senate Republican Whip John Thune (S.D.) simply told reporters ” no” when asked if Graham’s bill was sanctioned by leadership, according to the Hill.
Democrats, meanwhile are using the proposal to attack Republicans as “radical”.
“For the hard right, this has never been about states’ rights. This has never been about letting Texas choose its own path while California takes another,” Schumer said. “No, for MAGA Republicans, this has always been about making abortion illegal everywhere.”