Less than two months before the midterm elections, Sen. Lindsey Graham on Tuesday introduced a bill that would impose a nationwide ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
The measure, the first GOP effort to ban abortion at the national level since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, contains exceptions for cases of rape, incest or when a mother’s life is in danger but otherwise would restrict abortions after the point when Graham, citing medical research, claimed a fetus’ nerves develop enough to feel pain.
“Our legislation, which bans abortion after 15 weeks gestation, will put the United States abortion policy in line with other developed nations such as France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Spain and other European nations,” Graham said Tuesday.
He and leaders of various anti-abortion and women’s organizations have repeatedly argued that, without a federal abortion ban, the U.S. would be like North Korea, China, Iran and Syria, which he contended allow “abortion on demand.”
But it is far from clear whether Graham has much support from his fellow Republicans, who appeared deeply divided Tuesday over whether to enact federal abortion restrictions.
Even if the GOP were to regain control of the Senate in November, Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the Senate’s second-ranking Republican, said he didn’t know if Republicans would proceed with a floor vote on Graham’s measure.
Likewise, just a few of the GOP Senate candidates in competitive races immediately voiced support for the measure, including Arizona’s Blake Masters and Georgia’s Herschel Walker. Joe O’Dea, a moderate Republican running to unseat Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in Colorado, told the Denver Post he did not back Graham’s bill and called for “balance on the abortion issue.”
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SOURCE: ABC News, Gabe Ferris