Sen. Mike Rounds, a Republican from South Dakota, said Sunday he does not support legislation proposed by Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, that would ban abortions after 15 weeks nationwide.
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.
In an interview on CNN State of the Unionhost Jake Tapper asked Rounds if he supported Graham’s bill.
“No, I think right now we should allow states to explore the different possibilities on the appropriate way,” he said. “I think individual states will come up with … a bunch of different ideas on how to appropriately discuss abortion in general, and then I think there will be consensus over a period of years.”
The senator added that “at this point, having Congress … tell all the states that we know better than they do how to manage is probably not the right direction to go.”
Rounds said senators had previously considered a proposal to ban all abortions beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy, which failed to gain enough support in the upper house to pass.
“We weren’t successful then. I don’t think a proposal today would be successful in the House and Senate. I think a better approach would probably be to allow states to work through this and finding the appropriate language state by state,” the South Dakota senator said.
At a press conference last week, Graham said that if his bill passed, “we would be in the mainstream of almost everyone in the world.”
“There are 47 out of 50 European countries that have banned abortion at 12 to 15 weeks,” Graham added.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has also distanced himself from the legislation and, pressed by reporters last week, said he believed decisions on abortion policy should be left to individual states. .
Few Republicans have expressed support for the ban so far. GOP Sen. John Thune of South Dakota supported the legislation and told CNN he thinks “there will be pretty good support” for the legislation “among, you know, pro-life Republicans. and maybe some pro-life Democrats.”
Newsweek contacted Graham’s press office for comment.
Graham’s proposal came after the U.S. Supreme Court overruled in June Roe vs. Wadea landmark 1973 decision that gave a woman the federal right to have an abortion.
A poll by SurveyMonkey and The 19th, a gender and politics news agency, found that most Americans think abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 35% of voters say it should be illegal. However, the majority of Republicans – 72% – think the procedure should be illegal in most or all cases.