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Sen. Graham Disagrees With Trump on Abortion Issue

Lindsey Graham (Credits: CNN)

Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, has publicly expressed disagreement with former President Donald Trump’s stance on abortion, which suggests that the matter should be decided by individual states rather than at the national level.

Trump, who is likely to be the Republican nominee in the upcoming November election, recently articulated his views in a video posted on Truth Social, avoiding a direct call for a national ban on abortions. Graham’s response highlights a fundamental difference in perspective within the Republican Party regarding the abortion debate.

Trump (Credits: KTVZ)

While Trump’s position aligns with a states’ rights approach, Graham advocates for a national standard, citing the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling—which overturned Roe v. Wade and effectively returned the decision-making power on abortion to the states—as not mandatorily relegating the issue to state jurisdiction.

Graham’s criticism is particularly pointed when he compares the states’ rights argument to historically controversial decisions, such as the Dred Scott decision, indicating a belief that certain moral and ethical issues transcend state boundaries and require a unified national policy.

He supports the establishment of a national minimum standard that would restrict abortions at 15 weeks of pregnancy, arguing that by this stage, the fetus is sufficiently developed to feel pain. This position is reinforced by his reference to European nations, where he notes that 47 out of 50 have set national abortion limits between 12 to 15 weeks.

US abortion bans (Credits: Lowy Institute)

Further underscoring his commitment to this issue, Graham announced plans to introduce new legislation that would require abortion providers to administer anesthesia to an unborn child at 15 weeks during an abortion procedure. He justifies this based on the premise that it is standard medical practice to use anesthesia when operating on a fetus at this stage for life-saving purposes.

This divergence in views between Graham and Trump not only reflects the internal complications within the Republican Party regarding how to handle abortion post-Dobbs but also signals potential legislative and electoral strategies as the general election approaches.

Graham’s proactive legislative agenda, aiming to introduce a nationwide 15-week abortion ban, suggests a strategic positioning that may influence both his constituency and the broader national debate on reproductive rights.

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