Fox News host Shannon Bream confronted Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, on Sunday over her proposal to ban abortion nationwide after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
During an interview on FoxNews SundayBream asked the senator what he thought about proposing such a bill before future terms, as it could affect the GOP’s chances in the election.
“I’m pro-life, even in an election year,” Graham said. “And to those who suggest that to be pro-life is to lose politics, I reject that.”
Graham on Tuesday announced the new federal bill, which would not allow any abortions “on demand” after 15 weeks, except in cases of rape, incest or if the mother’s life is in danger.
“Only in Washington is it extreme to protect the baby at 15 weeks from an agonizing death. [The] The only thing I got going was all the pro-life groups in America and about 70% of the American people,” the senator said. “So I make no apologies for being pro-life. I think the pro-life movement has found a position that most Americans will agree with.”
Bream then confronted him about what he said in June when the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wadea landmark 1973 decision that gave a woman the federal right to have an abortion.
Graham said at the time that “there is nothing in the constitution that creates the right to abortion as a constitutional principle” and that the Court brought back the pre-1973 era where states can make decisions about the medical procedure.
Bream then told the Republican senator “you have to explain the pivot” on abortion after reiterating a tweet from President Joe Biden in which he said on Friday, “When a lawmaker moves from promoting states’ rights to promoting of a national ban, it becomes clear that they are not affected by the Constitution.”
“…For 20 years, I’ve supported federal legislation banning late-term abortion,” Graham said before Bream cut him off to tell him he had previously said states should make those decisions.
Graham then defended himself, saying, “Here’s what Dobbs says elected officials can make state or federal decisions. I am not inconsistent. In 2020 I had a bill on the floor of the US Senate right across from the Capitol that banned abortion at 20 weeks because the baby can feel pain… To suggest that I’m new to the game , opposing late-term abortion is ridiculous.”
He continued, “I will not sit on the sidelines and watch this nation become China when it comes to aborting babies right up to the moment of birth. I reject this. I will continue to introduce legislation in national level setting a minimum standard of 15. weeks no abortion except to save the life of the mother, rape, [and] incest.”
Graham has come under fire from some of his fellow Republicans for his bill, which could divide the Republican Party and negatively impact voters ahead of the midterm elections, NBC News reported Tuesday, GOP strategist Chris Mottola calling the proposal a “bad idea”.
“It rips a political wound. The political environment was going back to economic issues. It further nationalizes an issue that works against Republicans generically,” Mottola said.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also expressed concern on Tuesday, saying “most in my conference prefer this to be dealt with at the state level.”
Republican Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota also opposed Graham’s proposal, telling CNN State of the Union Sunday that “a better approach will probably be to allow states to solve this problem”.
Meanwhile, Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine rejected Graham’s proposal, along with Democratic Senators Tim Kaine of Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, and threw their support behind the codification of protections Federal laws against abortion.
“Here’s what I would say to the Republican Party. Fear not, stand up for the baby, nationwide,” Graham said Sunday. “I am confident that the American people would accept a nationwide 15-week abortion ban with exceptions for maternal life, rape, and incest and reject the Chinese abortion policy pushed by the Democratic Party.”
Newsweek contacted the Republican National Committee (RNC) for comment.