For 49 years after the U.S. Supreme Court recognized abortion rights for women in Roe v. Wade, Republicans have waved the segregationists’ flag of “states’ rights!” – let each state decide for itself on abortion.

Here’s the thing: a fundamental federal constitutional right is not subject to nullification by any state – that was until Dobbs, in which an activist radical Republican U.S. Supreme Court, for the first time in U.S. history, reversed a fundamental federal constitutional right it had recognized for half of the population (women). Justice Clarence Thomas made clear in Dobbs that other fundamental federal constitutional rights, e.g., same-sex marriage, are now in his sights.

Advertisement

The Dobbs decision resulted in two Americas – one where abortion rights are protected, and one where abortion is banned, even in cases of incest and rape (and even to save the life of the mother in some states).

The forced birth fetus fetish religious zealots are not satisfied with only half the states, they want to impose a federal ban on abortion under federal law – screw their own “states’ rights!” rhetoric of the past 49 years. They want to codify the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs reversing a fundamental federal constitutional right for half of the population (women). Welcome to the theocratic Republic of Gilead.

Numerous Republican candidates have been trying to hide their extremist views on abortion by scrubbing their campaign websites – we see you Blake Masters! – or pretending to soften their positions because the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs is extremely unpopular with the public, especially among women who have seen their fundamental federal constitutional right to abortion reversed by an activist radical Republican Supreme Court.

Democrats have promised to codify Roe v. Wade, restoring a fundamental federal constitutional right that women had enjoyed for 49 years until an activist radical Republican Supreme Court reversed a fundamental federal constitutional right for the first time in U.S. history.

Enter Trump fluffer Little Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

Philip Bump writes at the Washington Post, Lindsey Graham’s abortion-ban proposal is not helping his party:

When the Supreme Court in June released its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning Roe v. Wade and allowing new bans on access to abortion, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) echoed the party line.

“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court is a long overdue constitutional correction allowing for elected officials in the states to decide issues of life,” he wrote on Twitter. “Roe was Constitutionally unsound from its inception as the flawed legal theory behind the decision gives unlimited power to five unelected Supreme Court justices.” [He said with no self-awareness or sense of irony.]

Instead, the argument went, abortion could now be decided by leaders chosen by the people — state-level politicians, each making decisions about access to abortion in line with what their residents sought.

Well, with one exception. According to legislation Graham introduced Tuesday, there should also be a baseline prohibition on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy nationally. So let the states decide — as long, it seems, as the decision is nothing more lax than a 15-week ban.

“It is left up to elected officials in America to define the issue,” he said in announcing the legislation — adding a caveat that he’d excluded in June: that “states have the ability to do [so] at the state level and we have the ability in Washington to speak on this issue if we choose.” He was choosing.

Listen to this religious zealot explain his inconsistency.

Trump fluffer Little Lindsey Graham is, and has always been, a partisan hack. He is a man without any principles other than his own reelection and his pursuit of GQP authoritarian power.

But why now? For abortion opponents, any national restriction on abortion is certainly welcome. Beyond that, though, the politics are hard to parse.

In announcing the proposal, Graham tied it explicitly to the midterm elections.

If we take back the House and the Senate, I can assure you we’ll have a vote on our bill,” he said. “If the Democrats are in charge, I don’t know if we’ll ever have a vote on our bill.”

To the women of America and the men who love them, this is your choice in this election: restoring a fundamental federal constitutional right that women had enjoyed for 49 years, or ushering in the theocratic Republic of Gilead.

Perhaps the idea, then, was to goose enthusiasm among Republicans for instituting a national restriction. Or perhaps Graham thinks that such a proposal would effectively remove the issue from the playing field — along the lines of what Republican consultant Patrick Ruffini suggested this week. Had the GOP response to Dobbs been a blanket 15-week ban, he offered, it would have been harder for Democrats to suggest that Republicans wanted to go further. In introducing his bill, Graham seemed to suggest that he was trying to establish such a baseline.

He also framed it as “[putting] the United States in line with other modern societies,” since many European nations also restrict abortion after 15 weeks. But as supporters of abortion access quickly noted, those countries generally also provide more robust contraceptive options and support for pregnant mothers.

The primary hindrance to Graham’s effort to clarify the GOP position is that it’s not the GOP position. Again, his proposal explicitly “[l]eaves in place state laws that are more protective of unborn life” — meaning that states could still ban abortion outright. What’s more, other Republicans were immediately skeptical of the idea, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

“I think most of the members of my conference prefer that this be dealt with at the state level,” McConnell said when asked Tuesday. As Graham indicated he did, once upon a time.

Few people in the country are more concerned about getting Republicans elected in November than McConnell. That he rejected Graham’s proposal, then, is telling from a political standpoint: If McConnell thought this would aid his effort to retake the majority, he’d have endorsed it without hesitation.

Polling from the Wall Street Journal published earlier this month offers a hint as to why McConnell didn’t do so: Support for a ban after 15 weeks fell in the wake of Dobbs. In March, Journal polling showed support and opposition about evenly split. In a poll conducted at the end of August, views were almost 2 to 1 against. There was a change in wording that likely accounts for some of the difference — the poll in August excluded rape and incest as exceptions, which Graham’s bill doesn’t — but the decline is still remarkable.

Again, maybe Graham thinks that his proposal can turn abortion into a turnout driver for the right. His side, though, already won. His insistence that “if the Democrats are in charge, I don’t know if we’ll ever have a vote on our bill” is almost certainly already being excerpted for ads in key Senate battleground states. Who’s going to be more motivated by Graham’s bill: an antiabortion Republican who is promised a scaling-back (but not a ban) of abortion access in blue states, or a Democrat in favor of access to abortion who is worried about federal limits being imposed?

“I think the place to begin is where Graham is beginning,” MarjorieDannenfelser, the president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, told The Washington Post in an interview before the bill’s introduction. If the antiabortion right sees Graham’s national bill as “the beginning,” rest assured that those who oppose new restrictions do, too.

After all, this was the fear from the outset. Upending Roe meant opening the door to a national ban — which is exactly why Republicans very quickly circled around the idea that Dobbs simply empowered states. Now Graham, seemingly hoping to define a middle-ground position for his party, has embraced an unpopular national restriction that can only get tighter, not looser. And with two months to go before an election in which Dobbs spurred an apparent increase in Democratic enthusiasm.

No wonder McConnell’s not thrilled.

The only thing that could make me happier is this Trump fluffer Little Lindsey Graham getting indicted in Fulton County Georgia for conspiracy to solicit election interference.

Advertisement