Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced a bill on Tuesday that will ban abortions nationwide after 15 weeks of pregnancy. There are exceptions for rape, incest, and for saving the life of the mother in the bill.
This is a change of course for Graham who previously said that abortion decisions should be left up to states. He said that elected officials have the power to define and regulate abortion, which includes Congress. His motivation to introduce the legislation comes after Democrats tried to protect abortion in federal law.
Whether or not a vote is held on the bill is the question. Graham hopes there will be because Democrats voted on their abortion legislation. But, Democrats are in the majority, barely, in the Senate, with Kamala Harris breaking a tie vote. “We should have a law at the federal level,” Graham said during a briefing. “If we take the House and Senate, I can assure you we’ll have a vote.”
That is what some Republican lawmakers have promised if the GOP takes back the majority in Congress, a nationwide abortion ban. Just as Democrats want to codify Roe v Wade, many Republicans want to ban abortion nationwide. The majority of Americans agree with some restrictions on abortion but most call for exceptions for rape, incest, and the health of the mother.
The White House calls Graham’s bill “wildly out of step.” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that the ban “would strip away women’s rights in all 50 states.”
“This bill is wildly out of step with what Americans believe,” she said. “The President and Vice President are fighting for progress, while Republicans are fighting to take us back.”
Jean-Pierre said that Biden and Democrats in Congress are committed to restoring Roe v. Wade. The White House has pushed for Congress to codify Roe but passing such a measure would take a larger Democratic majority in the Senate to overcome a legislative filibuster.
“President Biden and Congressional Democrats are committed to restoring the protections of Roe v. Wade in the face of continued radical steps by elected Republicans to put personal health care decisions in the hands of politicians instead of women and their doctors, threatening women’s health and lives,” Jean-Pierre said.
Democrats hope that voters care more about legal abortion than they do everyday issues like inflation, spiking crime rates, an open southern border, supply chain shortages (like the still present baby formula shortage), and failing public schools. Joe Biden has racked up one crisis after another due to his bad policy decisions and weak governance skills. They think they have the wind at their backs after the Supreme Court’s decision on Dobbs and two special election victories that were thought to be likely wins for Republicans in New York State and Alaska. We’ll see how this plays out in the next 56 days until the November midterm elections.
Republicans will win back the House. It is critical that Republicans also win back the Senate. Even dazed and confused Joe Biden knows if Democrats lose both the House and the Senate, it’s going to be a long two years.
“If we lose the House and we lose the Senate, it’s going to be a really difficult two years,” Biden reportedly told a crowd of about 30 donors and guests in attendance. “I’ll be spending more time with the veto pen than getting anything done.”
Sounds good to me.