A proposed federal ban on abortion by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., that would outlaw the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy is dividing the Republican Party as it struggles to formulate a cohesive message on the politically explosive issue before the midterm elections, the Washington Examiner reported on Wednesday.
Graham argued that his proposal on Tuesday — which has exceptions to the ban in cases of rape, incest, and saving the life of the mother — is in line with the view of most voters and will help the GOP in the upcoming elections.
A group of Republican representatives is ready to introduce similar legislation in the House, according to CNN.
But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said at a press conference that the party would not unite around Graham's proposal, saying, "I think most of the members of my conference prefer that this be dealt with at the state level," the Examiner reported.
Other Republican senators made similar statements, with Texas Sen. John Cornyn insinuating that Graham had gone rogue and telling Politico that his proposal "wasn't a conference decision. It was an individual senator's decision."
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., added that she doesn't "think there's much of an appetite to go that direction" and that regulation is best left to the states, according to the Examiner.
Any bill would need 60 votes to bypass the Senate's filibuster, which would be unlikely, even if Republicans retake the majority in the midterms.
Democratic strategist Brad Bannon insisted to the Examiner that "it's political suicide for the GOP, [because] it's clear in polling that the Dobbs [Supreme Court] decision [overturning the constitutional right to an abortion] drove many young people and women away towards the Democratic Party in the midterms."
Bannon said, "The reality is about two-thirds of the American public think that women should have some access to abortion. And I think Graham's proposal at this point in the midterm elections will drive the nail into the coffin."
So far, only a few Republicans have officially backed Graham's proposal.
Herschel Walker, the GOP's Georgia Senate nominee, told CNN that "I am a proud pro-life Christian, and I will always stand up for our unborn children. I believe the issue should be decided at the state level, but I would support [Graham's proposal]."
Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said he backed the 15-week abortion ban and that the proposal will give Republican candidates a "place to land" as Democrats take a strong pro-abortion rights stance during the midterms.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.