Political debate aside, US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham enacted a nationwide ban on abortion on Tuesday, sending shock waves across both parties and sparking fresh debate over a The thorny issue a few weeks before the midterm elections will determine the control of Congress.
Graham’s Republican Party leaders did not immediately accept his bill to ban abortion, which would ban the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy with rare and unlikely exceptions. have a chance to become law in the Democratic-hosted Congress. Democrats burned it as an alarming signal of the position of “MAGA” Republicans should they gain control of the House and Senate in November.
“America has to make some decisions,” Graham said at a press conference at the Capitol.
South Carolina Republicans say that instead of dodging a Supreme Court ruling this summer that overturned Roe v. Wade’s nearly 50-year right to abortion, Republicans are preparing to fight to introduce federal legislation states that ban abortion nationwide.
“Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, we’re not going anywhere,” the senator said as female anti-abortion activists stood by. “We welcome the debate. We welcome the vote in the US Senate on what America will be like in 2022.”
The reaction was swift, fierce, and unwavering from Democrats, who saw Graham’s law as an extreme example of far-right support for the GOP, and as a political gift. about the self-inflicted pain of Republican candidates now having to answer questions about headlines about the abortion ban heading toward the midterm elections.
“A nationwide abortion ban – it’s a bipartisan contrast, plain and simple,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Senator Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington who is fighting for re-election, said Republicans “want to force” women to stay pregnant and give birth.
“For anyone who thinks they’re safe, this is the painful reality,” she said. “Republicans are coming for your rights.”
The abrupt change comes in a tense election season as Republicans hoping to take control of Congress are struggling to regain momentum, especially after the Court’s landmark decision. The Supreme Court has aroused deep concern among some voters, with signs of female voter leaving STOP STOP.
In the midterm elections where the party outside the White House traditionally holds the edge, even more so this year with President Joe Biden’s lackluster approval ratings, Democrats have regained some momentum. back the GOP candidates in the race for the House and Senate.
Tuesday’s announcement set up an immediate split with Biden and Democrats ready to celebrate their achievement in a White House ceremony after the Inflation Reduction Act was passed and the party Republicans were forced to respond to Graham’s proposal to ban abortion.
“This bill is completely out of line with what Americans believe,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
“While President Biden and Vice President Harris are focused on passing the historic Inflation Reduction Act to reduce prescription drug, healthcare and energy costs — and taking unprecedented action to addressing climate change – Republicans in Congress are focused on making Jean-Pierre speak to millions of women.
Graham’s law has little chance of becoming law, but it does raise the issue of abortion at a time when other Republicans want to focus on inflation, border security and Biden’s leadership.
The Republican bill would ban abortion nationwide after 15 weeks of pregnancy, except in cases of rape, incest or risk to the mother’s physical health. Graham said he will bring the US up to par with many countries in Europe and around the world.
In particular, Graham’s bill would introduce more restrictive state laws. That provision is notable because many Republicans have argued that the Supreme Court’s decision leaves the abortion issue up to the states to decide. But Republican legislation makes it clear that states are only allowed to decide on the matter if their abortion bans are stricter.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who is far from control by a one-seat majority, refused to accept Graham’s law.
“I think every Republican senator running this year in these races has an answer to how they feel about this issue,” McConnell said. He said most GOP senators prefer the issue to be resolved by the states, rather than at the federal level. “So I give it to our candidates who are quite capable of handling this to determine for them what their response will be.”
The most at-risk Democratic senators this fall and other Democratic candidates running for Congress are eager to oppose the nationwide abortion ban proposed by Graham.
Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, a Nevada Democrat, tweeted that Graham “and every other anti-choice extremist could rise.”
Her Republican opponent, Adam Laxalt, during his campaign emphasized that abortion is protected in the state constitution, which may no longer be included in the bill.
In Colorado, another Democrat running for re-election, Senator Michael Bennet, tweeted: “The nationwide abortion ban is outrageous. “
Bennet is committed to “protecting a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions, no matter what ZIP code she lives in. We can’t let Republicans take back the Senate.”
His Colorado opponent, Republican Joe O’Dea, who advocates giving access to guaranteed abortion under Roe v. Wade, partly agrees: “A Republican ban is just as reckless. and deafening as Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer are hostile to considering any compromise on late abortion, parental notification or conscience protection for religious hospitals. “
Races for control of Congress are tight in the 50-50 split Senate, where one seat decides majority control, and in the House, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi could lose only a few chairs.
Pelosi called Graham’s bill “the clearest signal yet of the radical intent of MAGA Republicans to criminalize women’s health liberties in all 50 states and force doctors to provide care.” basic squirrel. Make no mistake: if Republicans get a chance, they will work to pass legislation that is more draconian than this one.”
Republican leaders on Capitol Hill tried to party together amid differences.
“I think what it’s trying to do is perhaps change the conversation a little bit,” said Senator John Thune, a South Dakota Republican and second-in-command.
“Democrats are implying that all Republicans are banned without exception, and that’s not true,” Thune said. “There are Republicans who support restrictions. And I think this is an attempt to at least come up with something that reflects the views of a lot of Republicans who support some restrictions. “
Associated Press writers Kevin Freking in Washington and Nick Riccardi in Denver contributed to this report.