Republicans are keeping their distance from Senator Lindsay Graham’s new proposal. ban most abortions after 15 weeks Democrats are backing the bill as evidence that Republicans are trying to limit abortion nationwide if they win control of Congress in the November midterm elections.
With Graham’s proposal, Democrats see another opportunity to capitalize on an issue that seemed to increase their chances of holding at least one House in Congress.
South Carolina Republicans legislation Less than three months after the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v Wade, decades of federal abortion protections were overturned, placing abortion at the top of the midterm election agenda. .
Graham’s announcement on Tuesday sparked a new wave of headlines on abortion as Democrats lined up to condemn a bill that would sharply narrow access to procedures in blue states. Diverting attention from the headline, it was worse than expected inflation report that plummeting stocks It was a blow to the Biden administration’s claims of economic recovery.
Graham’s approach also contradicted strategies taken by some Republicans, including prominent constituencies, after the High Court’s abortion ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. Many Republicans argue that states, not the federal government, should enact abortion laws.
in Pennsylvania, one of the few battleground states that will determine which party wins the Senate, The new bill spurred Republican Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz to say that, if elected, he would keep the federal government from interfering with state-level abortion regulations. But Republican Herschel Walker, who is vying for the Georgia seat of incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock in another important race, He said he would support Graham’s bill.
In both states, Democratic candidates used the issue to attack their Republican rivals.
“Oz needs to tell us — yes or no, do you support this bill?” Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, the Democratic Senate candidate for Pennsylvania, said in a statement Thursday morning. “I’ll go first. I’m HELL NO.”
“If you’re winning the game, you don’t change your strategy,” Williams said. “If you’re talking about other things, I think it’s a bad idea.”
Seth Weathers, a former Trump campaign aide and political strategist in Georgia, said, “I’m a little afraid that the way it will be marketed to the public could hurt Republicans in the midterm elections.”
Julian Thompson, a political strategist and self-proclaimed pro-life Republican, said the economy is “the problem Republicans are winning right now and the problem they need to focus on.”
Few domestic Republican groups have endorsed Graham this week.
Facebook When twitter The National Republican Congressional Committee, the National Republican Senate Committee, and the Republican National Committee pages have neither mentioned nor promoted Graham’s bill since it came out. According to Meta Ad Library, none of his Facebook pages in any of these groups have started advertising related to the bill.
The RNC-controlled Twitter account Wednesday tweeted about abortion without mentioning Graham, blaming both Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and New York House Democratic Caucus speaker Hakeem Jeffries. procedure. The NRSC did the same on Wednesday, tweeting criticism of the abortion stance of Democratic Rep. Val Demings, who is challenging Republican Senator Marco Rubio for a seat in Florida.
Graham sought to frame his legislation as a response to a Democratic-led proposal to codify abortion protection at the federal level. His one such bill was filed in May in response to the court’s draft judgment against Roe. failed in the Senate.
“They chose a bill that would not put us into the global mainstream, but a group of seven countries that allow abortions on demand almost up to the point of childbirth,” Graham said at a news conference on Tuesday. is.
Graham said his bill, which bans procedures at 15 weeks’ gestation and includes exceptions for rape, incest, and saving the mother’s life, brings America’s abortion policy “pretty much in line with the rest of the world.” level.”
“And that’s where America is headed,” the senator said.
The plan leaves stricter state abortion laws intact. Rep. Chris Smith, RN.J., has introduced a related bill in the House.
Although the title of Graham’s bill suggests that it would only ban “late” abortions, it would not be possible to enforce procedures nationwide if less than four months pregnant, a threshold that lies within the second trimester. Abortions are usually considered “late” after 21 weeks of gestation, according to the health policy nonprofit. KFFMoreHowever, the organization points out that the phrase is not an official medical term and that abortions at that stage are rarely requested and difficult to obtain.
Graham’s bill has virtually no chance of passing the current Congress, which has a Democratic majority in the House and Senate. Republicans want the incumbent president’s party to take over both houses of Congress in a historically underperforming midterm election.
But some forecasters now favor Democrats keep control Senate shift being made partially attributed Dobbs High Court decision.Republicans are supported take homebut after that ruling in late June, the odds shifted slightly toward the Democratic Party.
public opinion After Dobbs, the High Court sank after overthrowing Law in a 5-4 vote with a majority that included three judges nominated by the former president. donald trumpMeanwhile, abortion rights have surged as the number one issue among voters.
a Fox News poll A survey conducted in September and released Wednesday found 57% of voters support legal abortion in all or most cases, up 13 points from May.
The same survey showed that voter disapproval of Dobbs’ decision only increased in the months after it came out, as respondents’ disapproval outweighed their approval by almost a two-to-one margin. rice field. The survey found that 56% of voters who see abortion as their primary concern support Democrats in their congressional districts, compared to 27% who prefer Republicans.
Some Republicans, including Republican candidates in the all-important Senate election, support Graham’s new proposal.
When asked why he signed the bill, Rubio said, “I’ve always been pro-life. .
Second-ranked Senator John Thune of South Dakota said he supports the bill.He said CNN It would change the narrative that Republicans support a total abortion ban and “give candidates a place to reflect their voices and support something that doesn’t fit the Democratic narrative.”
Pennsylvania-based Republican political strategist Christopher Nicholas told CNBC that Graham’s bill is “the first strategic response from our side on this issue since Dobbs’ decision.” and agreed with that view.
“It is to the media, [Democrats] The only acceptable abortion position on their part is to allow abortions on demand,” Nicholas said.
Other Republican leaders, however, either refused to support Graham’s bill or expressed the belief that individual states should enact their own abortion laws.
“I think most members of my Congress want this to be handled at the state level,” he said, setting the GOP’s abortion agenda if it wins control of the Senate in November. Kentucky Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters. Asked Tuesday about Graham’s bill.
Florida Senator Rick Scott, chair of the NRSC, did not voice support for the bill in an interview with Fox News on Wednesday.
When asked about the law, Scott said, “Around the country, people’s eyes are on the economy, on their children’s education, on public safety.” I have,” he added.
Asked for comment on the bill’s reaction, Graham spokesman Kevin Bishop said Rubio “participated.”
Republicans have long opposed abortion. Red states imposed a blanket ban About the procedure immediately after the reversal of the low. but, poll Shows Majority of Americans Disapprove of Court Judgments — and as Women reportedly Outnumbering men in voter registration in key states — Many Republicans are struggling to compete with Democrats who have made abortion a major part of their message.
“Abortion isn’t going to decide the midterm elections, but it’s an issue Democrats are using to raise money and increase women’s voter registration,” said Republican strategist Thompson.
“I am very much aware of the fact that my party needs to send a better message on this issue,” she said, adding that more women leaders are speaking out about abortion and related issues. .
The RNC advised campaigners earlier this week to seek “common ground” on exceptions to the abortion ban and ask Democrats for their own views, The Washington Post reported. report Wednesday. The National Party also encouraged candidates to focus on topics such as crime and the economy, The Post reported.
“We haven’t heard about abortion today, so the poll must be telling them something. ‘What is their current position? America wants to know.'”
Some Republican candidates who have taken a hard line against abortion in previous Republican primaries include: soft or muted Their views as they fight in the general election. Democrats swooped in when Graham’s bill brought new focus to the issue.
“Herschel Walker thinks the problem is that our country has not banned abortion nationwide,” Democratic Sen. talked about rivals. the more you say.
In Pennsylvania, Fetterman scheduled a press conference with OB/GYN at Philadelphia City Hall to criticize the proposed 15-week abortion ban. He pressed Oz, an opponent, to answer questions about his stance on the bill.
Oz, a pro-Trump celebrity doctor who trails Fetterman in the polls, is “pro-life, with three exceptions: mother’s life, rape and incest,” his spokeswoman Brittany said. Yannick said in a statement.
“And as a senator, he wants to keep the federal government from interfering in state decisions on this topic.