Fox host Shannon Bream put forth the mildest of challenges when Sen. Lindsey Graham totally contradicted his June statement – on the same show - that it should be up to the states to regulate abortion, even as he insisted his proposed federal ban on abortion was not inconsistent.
In June, Graham said, on Fox News Sunday, “All of us in the conservative world have believed that there’s nothing in the Constitution giving the federal government the right to regulate abortion,” and “Let every state do it the way they would like.”
Today, Bream left out the part where Graham said he didn’t think the federal government has the right to regulate abortion. She quoted him saying: “There’s nothing in the Constitution that creates a right to abortion as a Constitutional principle… Now, what this court has done is taken us back to pre-1973 where each state can decide through their elected officials when life begins and how to treat life.”
Then she quoted President Biden responding, “When a lawmaker goes from touting states rights to touting a nationwide ban, it becomes clear they’re not concerned with Constitution.”
“You’ve got to explain the pivot,” she said, even though she had painted a false, Graham-friendlier pivot to the viewers.
Graham not only failed to explain the pivot, he insisted he had done no such thing.
GRAHAM: If you know anything about me, Shannon, for 20 years I’ve been supporting federal legislation banning late-term abortions. …
I’m not inconsistent. In 2020, I had a bill on the floor of the United States Senate, right across the Capitol, that banned abortion at 20 weeks because the baby can feel pain. I had 51 Republicans voting with me and two Democrats.
To suggest that I’m new to the game, opposing late-term abortion is ridiculous.
BREAM: No one's suggesting that.
GRAHAM: Listen, I was the author of the unborn victims of violence act that made it a crime to hurt a baby. If you attacked the mother, you’d be charged with two crimes. … It passed 72 votes in the United States Senate.
I never suggested there’s no place for the unborn in Washington, D.C. If you tell the pro-life movement that we’re out of business in the nation’s capitol, that we can’t set some minimum national standard to prevent Chinese abortion policy in Maryland or California, there’ll be a revolt by the pro-life community. The people are with me.
What am I saying? 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. I reject that. I will continue to introduce legislation at the national level, setting a minimum standard at 15 weeks. No abortion except for life, rape, save the life of the mother, incest.
Bream moved on to discuss the timing of Graham’s proposal.
The fact is, Graham’s proposal is a gift to Democrats for the midterms. On CNN's State of the Union today, Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) implicitly acknowledged that it’s bad politics to talk abortion bans until after the midterms. He also gave a not-very-subtle hint that if his party wins control of Congress, enacting a federal ban is exactly what they’ll do. “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. After that, maybe Congress steps in again,” he said.
You can watch Graham’s full interview on the September 18, 2022 Fox News Sunday below.