Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced a bill on Sept. 13 that would prohibit abortion nationwide after 15 weeks of pregnancy except in the cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. However, as The Hill has reported, at least 15 Republican senators either oppose or have expressed reservations about the legislation.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), for instance, said of the proposal, “I think it’s better to look at this each state individually, let the public weigh in on this and each state will figure this out.”
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) said, “This issue is best decided on a state-by-state basis. I don’t think it’s appropriate for us at the federal level after fighting all these years to return this power to the states.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters, “Most of the members of my conference prefer that this be dealt with at the state level.”
Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) said, “I think a better approach probably will be to allow the states to work through this and to find the appropriate language on a state-by-state basis and to find that common ground.”
“One of the advantages to resolving it state-by-state is you end up with more enduring legislation because it reflects the views of the people,” said Sen. Pat Tommey (R-Penn.).
Abortion regulation is “best left to the states,” commented Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).
Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kans.) said, “With an equally divided Senate, changes will not be made at the federal level, and therefore this issue can only be resolved at the state level.”
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) remarked that he opposes Graham’s bill “because I do think the Dobbs decision is the correct decision that states should be allowed to make their own laws.”
In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court ruling (6-3) on June 24, 2022 overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, sending the issue of abortion law back to the states.
In Graham’s legislation it states, “The majority of abortion procedures performed after 15 weeks gestation are dismemberment abortion procedures which involve the use of surgical instruments to crush and tear an unborn child apart before removing the pieces of the dead child from the womb.”
Other GOP senators who signaled opposition to the bill include Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Susan Collins (Me.), Pat Toomey (Penn.), Rob Portman (Ohio), Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), Ron Johnson (Wisc.), Mike Rounds (S.D.), Roger Wicker (Miss.), and John Thune (S.D.).