Graham’s 15-week abortion bill further complicates Republican midterm messaging

Republican Senate candidates eager to make the 2022 midterms about inflation, crime and President Joe Biden’s first term have a new dilemma in Sen. Lindsey Graham’s bill that would ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

The bill, which the South Carolina Republican introduced this week on a day of disappointing inflation news, presents his party with problems that are two-fold as they look to flip the House and Senate in November: Not only does it resurface the abortion debate, a topic many Republicans have sought to avoid since the Supreme Court, in a publicly unpopular decision, overturned Roe v. Wade in June, but it steps on the answers GOP candidates had coalesced around this summer – that abortion should be an issue left to the states, not the federal government.

Many Republican Senate candidates appear ill-prepared to respond to the Graham bill, with several either distancing themselves from it, obfuscating with their answers or just not engaging on the topic, while GOP leadership appears reluctant to endorse Graham’s proposal. Other nominees have more eagerly embraced it, believing it gives them a position to counter Democratic attacks tying them to some of the most extreme state measures or the threat of a total national ban. (Graham’s proposal provides exceptions for abortions required to protect the life of the mother, and if the woman becomes pregnant through rape or incest.) Continue Reading



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