The most common way other Senate Republicans are trying to dodge questions on Sen. Lindsey Graham’s national abortion ban bill is to claim they think abortion is a states’ rights issue. But voters should take those claims as seriously as Graham’s own insistence just last month that he thought abortion was a states’ rights issue. Now, not only is Graham pushing a national ban that would limit abortion rights in states where it is currently legal past 15 weeks, he’s explicitly arguing that it is not a states’ rights issue.
As soon as they think their political risks from banning abortion are in 2024, not 2022, other Republicans will make the same turnabout.
Graham followed his Fox News op-ed pushing his national abortion ban with a live appearance on Fox News to do the same:
“This is not a states’ rights issue. This is a human right issue,” Graham said. “At 15 weeks, a baby sucks its thumb, at 20 weeks, you’re encouraged to sing to a child. … I don’t care what California does on most things. I care here. I am not going to sit on the sidelines in Washington, D.C., and tell the pro-life community Washington is closed for business.”
(Thumb-sucking at or earlier than 15 weeks is not a sign the brain is anywhere close to fully developed: According to What to Expect, “the brainstem, which controls vital functions like heart rate and breathing, isn’t mostly complete until the end of the second trimester, and the cerebral cortex doesn’t take up its duties until the third trimester.”)
Graham went on from there, but it’s all basically lies and an attempt to justify the initial claim that “This is not a states’ rights issue.” You know, that it’s not the thing he said in August it was. That’s quite a fast turnaround, but it’s one that will be replicated by Republican after Republican immediately after the November elections are over—if they win. If they win, as Graham has said, “I can assure you we’ll have a vote” to ban abortion. And they won’t blink or pause at the hypocrisy.
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