Conservatives are not happy that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced a nationwide abortion ban barely two months before the midterm elections.
Although Graham’s bill — which would ban abortion after 15 weeks, except in cases of rape, incest, and lethal risk — has absolutely no chance of passing either the Democrat-controlled House or Senate, 80 Republican Congress members still co-sponsored it. Graham’s bill also runs the risk of energizing Democratic voters and those who opposed the Supreme Court’s June ruling which overturned the right to an abortion nationwide.
On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) pointed out that Graham’s bill also punishes doctors who perform abortions past 15 weeks with 5 years in federal prison, saying, “The extreme MAGA Republicans gathered to unveil their latest bill to criminalize women’s health in all 50 states.”
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When asked about Graham’s bill, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said, “Most of the members of my conference prefer that this be dealt with at the state level.”
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) said, “I’m not sure what [Graham’s] thinking here. But I don’t think there will be a rallying around that concept.”
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said, “That wasn’t a conference decision. It was an individual senator’s decision… I would keep an open mind on this but my preference would be for those decisions to be made on a state-by-state basis.”
Republican Senate candidate Joe O’Dea of Colorado said, in part, “I don’t support Senator Graham’s bill…. A Republican ban is as reckless and tone deaf.”
Former Trump aide Roger Stone called Graham’s bill “willful sabotage,” adding, “This federal election is about our safety, security, health, food supply, economy, free speech and the corruption of our justice system unless [Republicans in name only] and Democrats try to make it about federal abortion policy which the US Supreme Court made unnecessary… Lindsey Graham is purposely helping the Democrats to ensure that we do not take back the US Senate.”
An anonymous Republican operative quoted in The Hill said, “I just can’t believe this happened. I cannot believe this happened. Surely Democrats are high-fiving across the country. Imagine how much money they’re going to raise, and they didn’t even have to talk about inflation. They had a press conference on inflation today, and they didn’t even have to talk about it!”
A top Republican strategist involved in Senate campaigns told NBC News, “Unless our Senate candidates already have [Graham’s] position, it just highlights how much more extreme they are for this position… Stupid, just stupid.”
Chris Mottola, a GOP strategist, told the aforementioned news outlet that Graham’s bill was a “bad idea,” noting, “It rips open a political sore. The political environment was moving back to economic issues. It further nationalizes an issue that works against Republicans generically.”
John Sellek, a top Republican strategist in Michigan, told the news outlet, “Graham’s actions are practically inexplicable politically.”
Charlie Kirk accuses Lindsey Graham of "election interference" for introducing his abortion ban pic.twitter.com/7h4zbi95Im
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) September 14, 2022
Charlie Kirk blasted Graham on his broadcast, saying, “Introducing a piece of legislation that you do not have the votes for — like, not even close to having the votes for. It’s not gonna pass — the only rationale is that you want this election to be about abortion.”
“Why is Lindsey Graham, 25 days out from ballots going out, galloping in and saying we need a federal abortion ban? Really, where have you been Lindsey Graham? That feels like election interference,” Kirk continued.
“The Democrats are applauding,” Kirk added. “Thank you, Lindsey Graham, for making this issue about abortion. [Democrats are] enthusiastic that Lindsey Graham is now making this all about one issue.”
Graham has promoted his bill by dishonestly claiming the Democrats want “pro-choice legislation which allows abortion right up until the moment of birth.”