Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday said he is “confident” the majority of Americans support a national ban on abortion despite recent election results showing otherwise.
The Republican senator last week joined other GOP lawmakers to introduce legislation outlawing abortion at 15 weeks of pregnancy, the latest Republican step against abortion following the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade in June.
Graham’s bill contains exceptions for rape, incest and situations in which the mother’s life is in danger.
“I am confident the American people would accept a national ban on abortion at 15 weeks,” Graham told “Fox News Sunday.” “And to those who suggest that being pro-life is losing politics, I reject that.”
Election results from the past month contradict Graham’s assertion.
Democrat Pat Ryan’s win in the special election in New York’s 19th Congressional District last month was a warning to Republicans that abortion may be a losing issue for them this season. Ryan ran a campaign focused on painting Republicans as extremists on the issue, telling The Washington Post the race should “be a national referendum on Roe.”
Voters in deeply conservative Kansas supported keeping abortion protections in the state constitution by a double-digit margin earlier in August.
Democrats are spending tens of millions of dollars in ads targeting GOP candidates in key battleground states, including Pennsylvania, for their positions on abortion.
Republican candidates in the midterms are also removing references to abortion from their campaign websites, apparently to obscure their positions in fear of backlash over Supreme Court decision.
Even some of Graham’s own colleagues in the Senate have resisted supporting his bill.
“Most of the members in my conference prefer this be dealt with at the state level,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said.
Yet, Graham does not appear to be backing down.
“I will not sit on the sidelines and watch this nation become China when it comes to aborting babies up to the moment of birth,” Graham said.
The senator also rejected criticism that the bill reverses his earlier position to leave abortion to the states.
“When a lawmaker goes from touting states’ rights to touting a nationwide ban, it becomes clear that they’re not concerned with the Constitution,” President Joe Biden wrote on Twitter, in an apparent reference to Graham.
Graham previously welcomed the Dobbs decision, which allows each state to set its own rules around abortion.
“Here’s what Dobbs says: Elected officials can make the decision, state or federal. I’m not inconsistent,” Graham told “Fox News Sunday.”
His bill, which has no chance of passing under the currently Democrat-controlled Senate, does not prevent states from enacting more restrictive bans.
On Friday, West Virginia became the latest state to heavily restrict abortion, enacting a sweeping ban with exceptions for rape and incest victims within a limited window of time and for medical emergencies.