October 7, 2022

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Republicans are distancing themselves from Sen. Lindsey Graham’s new proposal to ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, as Democrats hold the bill as evidence if the GOP wins control of Congress in the November midterm elections. Wants to ban abortion across the country.

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In Graham’s proposal, Democrats see another opportunity to take advantage of an issue that has appeared to boost the prospect of keeping at least one chamber of Congress.

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South Carolina Republicans introduced Legislation Less than three months later, the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade, overturned decades-old federal abortion protections — and ranked abortion as a top issue in the mid-term.

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Graham’s announcement on Tuesday sparked a new wave of headlines about abortion, as Democrats prepared to condemn a bill that would rapidly limit access to the procedure in blue states. It diverted attention from another major headline of the day, a worse-than-expected inflation report that plunged stocks and was seen as a blow to the Biden administration’s claims of a recovering economy.

After the High Court abortion decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Graham’s approach contradicted tactics taken by some Republicans, including those in high-profile races. Many in the GOP have argued that states, rather than the federal government, should establish abortion laws.

in Pennsylvania, One of a handful of battlefields that will determine which party wins the Senate, The new bill called for Republican Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz to say he would prevent the federal government from interfering with state-level abortion rules if elected. But Herschel Walker, the Republican vying for the Georgia seat of incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock In another important race, He said he would support Graham’s law.

In both states, Democratic candidates used the issue to bash their GOP rivals.

“Oz has to tell us – yes or no, will you support this bill?” Lt. Gov. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania, the state’s Democratic Senate nominee, said in a statement Thursday morning. “I’ll go first: I’m not a nerd.”

Graham’s move astonished even some Republican political experts. Some media outlets banned it as a forced error At a pivotal moment when the House and Senate seem to be at war tightened,

“I don’t know why he did it,” said Jay Williams, a Georgia-based GOP strategist. He suggested that Republicans’ midterm pitch should focus mostly on the economy, where President Joe Biden has garnered low approval points.

“If you’re winning the game, you don’t switch strategies,” Williams said. “If we’re talking about something else, I think it’s a bad idea.”

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Seth Weathers, a former Trump campaign aide and political strategist in Georgia, said he was “a little afraid that the way it’s being sold to the public could hurt Republicans in the mid-term.”

Julian Thompson, a political strategist and self-described pro-life Republican, said the economy is “the issue that is winning for Republicans right now and the issue they need to focus on.”

National GOP groups have hardly jumped in to support Graham this week.

The Facebook and Twitter pages of the National Republican Congressional Committee, the National Republican Senate Committee and the Republican National Committee have not mentioned or promoted Graham’s bill since the announcement. According to the Meta Ad Library, none of the Facebook pages in those groups have launched ads related to the bill.

A Twitter account managed by the RNC tweeted about abortion without mentioning Graham on Wednesday, when it asked a pair of Democrats, Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and House Democratic caucus chair Rep. New York’s Hakeem Jeffries of refusing to recognize any borders. process. The NRSC tweeted Wednesday criticizing the abortion stance of Democratic Rep. Val Demings, who is challenging GOP Sen. Marco Rubio for his seat in Florida.

Graham attempted to frame his legislation as a response to Democrat-led proposals to codify abortion protection at the federal level. A similar bill was put forward in May in response to a draft court ruling on Roe. failed in the Senate,

“They chose a bill that would not bring us into the mainstream of the world but put us in the Group of Seven countries that allow abortion on demand,” Graham said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Graham said her bill, which bans the procedure at 15 weeks’ gestation and includes exceptions for rape, incest and saving the mother’s life, would set America’s abortion policy on a level that “compares with the rest of the world.” Quite compatible.”

“And that should be where America is,” said the senator.

The plan would bypass strict state abortion laws. Representative Chris Smith, RN.J. introduced a companion bill to the House.

While the title of Graham’s bill suggests that it would only prohibit “late term” abortions, it would prohibit the procedure nationwide after less than four months of pregnancy, a limit that falls within the second trimester. . According to the health-policy nonprofit, abortion is generally considered a “late term” at or later than 21 weeks of pregnancy. kff, But the organization notes that the phrase is not an official medical term, and abortion at that stage is rarely sought after and difficult to obtain.

Graham’s bill has no chance of passing the current Congress, where Democrats hold small majorities in the House and Senate. Republicans hope to hold both houses in the midterm, when the incumbent president’s party has historically underperformed.

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But some predictors are now taking the side of the Democrats to keep control of the Senate, a change that has been made attributed in part For the decision of the High Court in Dobbs. Republicans are in favor take the houseHowever, the odds have shifted slightly towards the Democrats since that decision came in late June.

public opinion The high court sank after Dobbs, who overturned Roe by a majority of 5-4 votes, including three judges nominated by former President Donald Trump. Meanwhile, abortion rights have emerged as a top issue among voters.

a fox news poll Conducted in September and released Wednesday found 57% of voters support legal abortion in all or most cases, a 13-point jump from May.

The same poll showed that voter opposition to Dobbs’ decision has only surfaced in months, as respondent disapproval exceeded approval by a margin of nearly 2 to 1. And the poll found that among voters who viewed abortion as a main concern, 56% would back Democrats in their House district, while 27% would choose Republicans.

Some Republicans, including GOP candidates in key Senate races, have supported Graham’s new proposal.

“I’ve always been pro-life,” Rubio said of why he signed the bill. He pressured reporters to ask Democrats which abortion ban they would support, if any.

2 Senate Republican, Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, said he supported the bill. They told CNN That it replaces the statement that Republicans support a total abortion ban “and gives candidates room to do something that reflects their views and doesn’t fit the narrative of the Democrats.”

Christopher Nichols, a Pennsylvania-based Republican political strategist, echoed that view, telling CNBC that Graham’s bill marked “the first strategic response on our part to this issue since the Dobbs decision.”

“It can force the press to get [Democrats] To accept that the only accepted abortion position in his favor is abortion on demand,” Nichols said.

But other top Republicans either refused to support Graham’s bill or expressed a belief that individual states should establish their own abortion laws.

“I think most members of my convention prefer that this will be dealt with at the state level,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican who will set the GOP’s abortion agenda if it wins Senate control in November, told reporters. Said on Tuesday when asked about Graham’s bill.

NRSC President Rick Scott of Florida did not express support for the bill during an interview Wednesday on Fox News.

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“Well, if you go across the country, people’s attention is on the economy, their children’s education, public safety,” Scott said when asked about the law. “With regard to abortion, Democrats are clearly focused on abortion,” he said.

Asked for comment on reactions to the bill, Graham’s spokesman, Kevin Bishop, said Rubio “has come on board.”

Republicans have long opposed abortion, and several red states placed blanket restrictions on the procedure shortly after Roe’s reversal. but as Election Show that the majority of Americans disapprove of the court’s decision – and as women Allegedly Leaving men behind in voter registration in key states – Many in the GOP have struggled to counter Democrats, who have made abortion a key part of their message.

“While abortion isn’t going to decide midterm, it has been an issue that Democrats are registering and using more women to vote for,” said Thompson, a Republican strategist.

“I am very cognizant of the fact that my party needs to deliver a better message on this issue,” she said, adding that more women leaders talked about abortion and related issues.

The RNC earlier this week advised campaigns to seek “common ground” on exceptions to abortion restrictions and press Democrats to press for their views, according to The Washington Post informed of Wednesday. The Post reported that the national party encouraged candidates to focus on topics such as crime and the economy.

“The election must be teaching them something, because I’m not hearing about abortion today,” Representative Jamie Ruskin, D-MD, said on the House floor on Wednesday. “What is their position now? America wants to know.”

Some Republican Candidates Who Spoke Hardened Positions on Abortion During the First GOP Primary soft or silent His views as to competition in general elections. As Graham’s bill brought renewed attention to the issue, Democrats jumped.

“Herschel Walker thinks this is a problem, our country doesn’t have a national abortion ban,” Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., said of his Republican opponent in a tweet Tuesday, posting a video of Walker before doing saying the same,

In Pennsylvania, Fetterman scheduled a press conference with OB/GYNs at Philadelphia City Hall to criticize the proposed 15-week abortion ban. He pushed his opponent, Oz, to answer questions about his stance on the bill.

Oz, the Trump-backed celebrity doctor who trailed Fetterman in the polls, “is pro-life, with three exceptions: mother’s life, rape and incest,” her spokeswoman Brittany Yannick said in a statement.

“And as a senator, he wants to make sure that the federal government is not involved in interfering in state decisions on this subject,” she said.