by Mikaela Gantz
Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, announced a new 15-week abortion ban bill during a recent press conference on Capitol Hill. This bill comes in the midst of many similar bills being passed in individual states banning or limiting abortion. The difference with this bill is that it is not a state bill, it is a national bill. The passing of this law, assuming that it is approved by both congressional bodies, would result in a change in national law.
Many Democrats have pointed out the hypocrisy with this bill. The recent reversal of Roe v. Wade returned abortion power to the states, where most Republicans argue it ought to be. However, if this bill is passed, it would move abortion power to the national level. Many are also confused at the timing of the announcement of this bill with midterm elections being less than two months away. Many races both congressional houses are tighter and closer than expected, and issues like abortion access are dividing voters. A slight miscalculation like this could cost the GOP their chance at securing a majority in the Senate or the House of Representatives.
With Democrats currently controlling the House and the Senate, with tie-breaking power in the hands of Vice President Kamala Harris, it is not likely that the bill will pass with flying colors. However, some Democrats in the Senate like Joe Manchin could create a shift in voting blocs on this particular issue. Further, though Graham’s bill is supported by some of his GOP colleagues, he has not gained the kind of support he likely hoped for. While many of Graham’s colleagues may be pro-life, many Senators, like Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, believe that abortion is a state-level issue.
Abortion rights have spiked as a top issue among voters for the 2022 midterms. Republicans now have to be very careful about bills they propose or sign in regards to abortion, as one slight miscalculation could cost them their seat or their party the majority. Both parties are trying to emphasize the issue of abortion access in different ways, but the only way to truly know who won is when the 2022 midterms show where public opinion truly lies.