Lindsey Graham Tells The Truth…

Ok, so it was inadvertent.

Graham–as most readers of this blog undoubtedly know–has blown the cover off the “states’ rights” arguments in Dobbs–and even the state’s rights “musing” in Clarence Thomases horrific concurrence. The Court’s argument is that certain fundamental rights previously protected nationally really aren’t so fundamental, and ought to be decided by state legislatures that are “closer to the people.”

That argument was never particularly persuasive, since it has a lot in common with the argument that human freedom from bondage isn’t a fundamental right, so whether or not slavery should be allowed would be best decided at the state level. (It also overlooks the widespread gerrymandering that has resulted in multiple state legislatures that don’t remotely reflect the wishes of their constituents.)

As multiple news organizations have reported

 With abortion access already expected to be a major issue in November’s midterm elections, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham supercharged the debate over reproductive rights by introducing a bill that would ban most abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.

“I have chosen to craft legislation that I think is eminently reasonable in the eyes of the world,” the South Carolina senator said. “If we take back the House and the Senate, I can assure you we’ll have a vote,” he vowed, speaking at a Capitol Hill press conference where he was flanked by some of the nation’s most prominent anti-abortion activists, including Marjorie Dannenfelser of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America. Many of those activists would like an outright ban on all abortions.

“This bill, frankly, doesn’t go far enough for many people,” said Penny Young Nance, president of Concerned Women for America. “But it is a consensus piece of legislation.”

Well, so much for the rights of states that want to protect a woman’s right to choose.

I don’t know what Graham thought he was doing with this legislative turd–perhaps he thought a national law that waited to criminalize abortion until 15 weeks would  be so generous that it would appeal to people who are conflicted about outright bans. Perhaps, as some commentators have suggested, he thought the promise of a nation-wide ban would motivate the GOP’s reliable anti-choice base.


What Graham has really done is strip away the rhetorical excuses in order to display another sort of “choice”– the stark choice voters will face on this issue in a few short weeks. If the GOP takes Congress, a national ban on abortion becomes very possible–no matter what Mitch McConnell says about Senators’ “preference to leave this matter to the states.” Urged on by its rabid base, the Republican Party will be free to ignore the rights of Blue and Purple states and the women who live in them. (Former vice president Mike Pence emphasized that point in an interview with Real Clear Politics, saying a national abortion ban and individual state restrictions “is profoundly more important than any short-term politics.”)

Senator Schumer’s response was a statement of the obvious.

“For the hard hard right this has never been about states’ rights. This has never been about letting Texas choose its own path while California takes another. No, for MAGA Republicans, this has always been about making abortion illegal everywhere,” Schumer told reporters on Tuesday afternoon.

For the naive pundits who predicted that over-ruling Roe would calm the political waters, Graham’s response to critics should provide a wake-up call:

Graham dismissed political concerns. “There’s a narrative forming in America that the Republican Party and the pro-life movement is on the run,” he said on Tuesday. “No, no, no, no. We’re going nowhere.”

Whatever the legal criticisms of the reasoning in Roe v. Wade, the decision established a bright line between decisions government can legitimately make, and those that must be left to individuals in a truly free society. That principle is what is currently under attack–and as I have repeatedly insisted, the consequences of getting it wrong will extend far beyond abortion.

In the GOP’s zeal to prevent women from exercising the same degree of individual autonomy they gladly grant to White Christian males, they have presented us with an unambiguous choice. Graham’s bill has the virtue of making that choice crystal clear.

A vote for any Republican congressional or Senate candidate in November is a vote for federal government control over our most intimate, personal decisions, including whether and when to procreate, who we can be “intimate” with, and who we can marry…

Whether you agree or disagree with the decisions government imposes is ultimately irrelevant. The issue is–and. must be–who gets to decide? 


  1. Sadly the states rights vs federal control issue will go over the heads of most of the cult. Hypocrisy seems to be a standard procedure when it comes to modern trumpist ( aka fascist) “republicans” who demand that they get their way, and only their way.

  2. I totally agree that these proposed national laws expose GOP hypocrisy about federalism.

    However, the overwhelmingly majority of Americans, including men and women, support reasonable gestational limits on abortion. That’s what the Graham legislation, clumsily, is aiming at. Despite strong support for Roe, a majority of Americans have never supported the second trimester abortions which Roe mandated had to be allowed as a constitutional right. This consistent polling contradiction by the way is evidence the public never actually understood the holding of Roe.

    If the Democrats are going to start down the road of demanding the right to abortion for the full nine months of a woman’s pregnancy , they are suddenly going to find themselves on losing side of an issue they’ve done very well on since Roe is overturned. This is even more so true when Democrats overreach even further by insisting that these abortions be paid for by taxpayers or that employer insurance policies be mandated to cover them.

    The first phase of the pro-Dobbs political landscape, I predicted will be Republican overreach and a backlash by voters. Check. Next up will be Democratic overreach and a backlash by voters. Eventually you’ll see compromises reached, That’s the way our democratic system works. It’s ugly, but that is how we reach compromise on difficult issues in this country. Abortion is such a difficult issue because the two sides have very legitimate positions. The hard core partisans on each side do not want to admit that, but it’s true.

  3. Paul’s discussion seems sound at first glance, but it omits a very important aspect of the subject: namely the right of a woman to make decisions about her body. Now consider this. Some women do not want to have children. If Senator Graham had added a provision in his bill to accommodate those women by requiring their husbands to have a vasectomy, regardless of whether they wanted one, then his bill would not be as blatantly discriminatory as it is now.

    Let the legislation be “balanced” in that way, and see how much support it will garner.

  4. I agree with Paul on this one. Abortion is an issue where we need to come together using science that says abortions are allowed up to ____, then not allowed. Pass it in Congress, and put it to bed entirely.

    How many other issues can we put to bed?

    If my reading of global matters is correct, this country cannot afford the clown shows in Washington much longer. I know the media loves the attention, and so do advertisers, but the decoupling from the petrodollar has begun, and it will gain serious momentum. U.S. sanctions or economic warfare will be a non-factor soon. Russia and China demonstrate to the world via the Shanghai Cooperation Organization that USA hegemony is over.

    The oligarchy versus the people is playing out in Washington via the railroad worker’s strike. Watch it very closely!

  5. Paul K. Ogden; at 15 weeks gestation the FETUS is approximately 6 1/2 inches long, outer ears are forming, skin beginning to strengthen and bones in some areas beginning to harden. Your “whatabout” regarding the possibility of Democrats seeking abortion rights up to 9 months has never been part of their equation regarding abortion rights.

    Your “whatabout” comment regarding the “eventual compromise” by Republicans and Democrats regarding abortion cannot be considered a possibility when Republicans want to end all abortions, no matter the situation. My 24 year old granddaughter, against all MEDICAL advice, tried to carry her fetus to term while dealing with a possible fatal seizure disorder. She had been through a few near-death situations with seizure after seizure even while hospitalized and receiving medical care. She died at 5 months pregnant, having seizures, the same possible fatal seizure disorder that killed John Travolta’s 18 year old son 3 weeks earlier and 3 months before Pence’s anti-abortion bill was enacted. CURRENT Republicans seek to end medical decisions and medical care for the elderly; they are aiming at us at both ends of the spectrum and want to control our religious choice and sexual orientation to control our lives while/IF we are here. I worked for Indianapolis Republican city government from 1972 to 1994 and watched the changeover within the local party from 1992 to 1994, culminating in what we see today.

    JEFFREY C SWETT states it as it is with his comment “Hypocrisy seems to be a standard procedure when it comes to modern trumpist ( aka fascist) “republicans” who demand that they get their way, and only their way.”

  6. I just do not know what to say other than I would expect a lot of Women’s Clinics to be established just inside the Canadian boarder.

  7. Perhaps we can understand Sen. Graham’s total shamelessness after noting what Axios reports today:

    “Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called his friend Donald Trump “a lying mother—-er” but “a lot of fun to hang out with,” according to “The Divider,” by Peter Baker and Susan Glasser, out next Tuesday.

    “Why it matters: Graham said it with “a what-can-you-do shrug,” the authors report — the mindset of so many Trump allies and enablers.”

  8. Is it possible to compromise on abortion? Graham’s proposal suggests a 15-week rule. I remember when the abortion ban was total, and I knew of rich neighbors who knew a doctor who would provide an abortion for them if needed. I’d like to see the debate get back to when should an abortion ban be invoked and when exceptions are allowable. Reasonable people should be able to hammer out a reasonable resolution. Perhaps the problem is that politicians are no longer “reasonable people.”

  9. grahams expected comments,when the red line is under fire since Roe,is obvious. looking to garner votes over needs. seems graham needs to inbed himself in a living world of,on site
    move in with the people before he even states,in the eyes of the world. whos he conning? its just a fundamental move to forego the barrage of anger aimed at his buddies,pacs,christians,news propaganda,jimmy swaggart,hobby lobby etc. obviously,from both sides. being hes become the spokes person for this travisty of lip service crumbs again,ive decided to go back to my rating of human tankings, again,hes made it to (my lowest form of life)used car salesman in the back of the alley,again…i suppose he.ll set up shop with new hangers for the unfortunate next..

  10. When you consider what might be at stake for them, it seems clear that women will decide when to get an abortion. The only question for the law is whether it will be safe and legal for every woman rich and poor, or unsafe and illegal.

    So, where we find ourselves, is among Republicans of a couple of different types. There are those who feel entitled to control the nation’s sex lives, the leftover out of step with the reality of these times Puritans. Then there are those who feel that appearing to support restricting abortions will secure themselves either the necessary votes, or the funds to recruit the necessary votes, to be entitled to further government employment and the power that it brings with it.

    This is consistent with the GOP’s resistance to the modern world and their desire to move back to the days of white, male, heterosexual, Christian, and European descendant entitlement and control. The return to the days when indigenous Europeans conquered the Indigenous of the rest of the world.

  11. Ya know,i hope i go to my grave poor from helping people,over screwing them in front of world media.

  12. When do we grant rights to the fetus that subordinate the rights of the woman carrying it? I sure am glad so many of the male commenters have it figured out. I’d say more, but my mother always said, “If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.” Just fair warning, if any of you try to “mansplain” this, I’ll just have to tell my mother I’m sorry.

  13. “Hypocrisy” seems to be the least of the GOP’s issues, it almost seems like a sweet little vice, compared to what they are really about. What they are really about is outright lying about virtually everything. This is exposed when one notices the hypocrisy. They lied about “Family Values,” about “Law and Order,” about “Trickle down,” they lied about acid rain, didn’t you, Newt-thing, they lied about global warming, and the abortion issue has been nothing but a ploy to attract the religious fanatics. When Roe first passed, they were quite supportive of it.

    Speaking of religious fanatics, if I might, with DT out there drumming, loudly now, to the beat of QAnaon, let me draw one more parallel between him and Hitler. Yes, these are “old” by now, but this is so blatantly pertinent: On pg. 21 of “In Hitler’s Bunker,” Armin Lehman, who was there, as a 16 year old, writes “But so much of Hitler’s rise to power had been based on fantasies and myths which turned out to be little more than the chimera of a deluded mind that exercised an extraordinary grip over so many other deluded minds.”

  14. Schumer should bring the bill to the floor, and force each and every Republican to go on record with a vote–leave them nowhere to hide or equivocate. Their opponents in this and future elections will have an exact record to point to.

  15. Last week, I had this discussion with a man at our Fall Festival. He was a ‘one issue’ voter but I did get him to hear me out about the mother’s life.
    He tried to tell me how a mother’s life in danger really doesn’t happen that often, so we shouldn’t be too concerned.
    I then asked him, which life mattered the most?
    Is the baby more important than a woman who perhaps has other children at home to care for?
    What about a 13 yr old rape/incest victim with a still developing body?
    His answer- his wife survived a stillborn and he has 4 daughters.
    They really are a lost cause.

  16. In the fantasy land of my mind, the only time a man has a right to express an opinion on abortion is when the pregnant woman asks him for his opinion.

  17. I’m so sick of men telling us what to do, at work, at home, at the doctors and for what?

    It’s about control and power and their religion.

    Selfish entitled white men with nothing better to do but beg for money for their elections. We MUST get money out of politics before it kills us all. They MUST Stop practicing medicine without a medical license.

  18. Graham’s defense of this is: 15 weeks is what in place in most of Europe, so we will be on equal footing with them.

    WELL…. That overlooks the fact that in most of Europe, healthcare is nationalized, and it provides free and easy access to birth control for everyone. Sensible, effective and ongoing Sex education is taught in schools, lowering the need for abortion services. Prenatal care is free. Maternity leave for both men and women is liberal. etc…. There is no equality.

    In addition, the 15 week nationwide ban only applies to states that don’t already have something more restrictive. States can and will still outlaw abortion altogether under Graham’s proposed law.

    Total hypocrisy to say states will decide, and then propose federal restrictions.

  19. Paul — Spoken like a man who never has to face difficult reproductive choices.
    I have NEVER heard of any woman who goes to a clinic to demand an abortion at 7 or 8 months into her pregnancy just for the hell of it!
    Late term abortions are usually indicated by medical tests revealing the fetus is not viable outside of the womb or has life threatening conditions that will make life after birth next to impossible. Continuing to carry this fetus can be life-threatening to the mother. I trust women and doctors to know what is happening and to come to a decision that they can live with. That’s what choice is about. Women are usually devastated by this news and the decision is THEIRS to make – not some pro-life GOP state legislator or Lindsey Graham!!
    Also, I don’t want my tax dollars to pay for capital punishment, penile implants or Viagra. And if it were up to me, vaccinations would be required under penalty of law. But too bad for me. That’s the price we pay for the freedom to chose.
    Your argument supporting the current state of affairs is like presenting a turd in a pretty box.
    It STINKS.

  20. Hmm… I suspect those White Christian Males totally against abortion would make an exception for a white rape victim if the rapist was black; even if not actually a rapist!

  21. I had a late term abortion due to pre-eclampsia. The doctors told us that the only cure was to “take the baby” as they put it. My now-ex husband wouldn’t sign the papers for it until I told him to “sign the damned papers.” Of course, in his mind that put the decision all on me. Luckily, both my daughter and I survived, but it could have gone very badly. Now, I worry about others in my position.

  22. Placing any time limitation on when a woman can have an abortion is cruel and unnecessary. None of you men should have any right whatsoever to an opinion about why or when women can obtain an abortion. The pro-birth female crusaders pushing for a total ban on abortions are even worse because no woman carries a baby for 6-9 months and then just flippantly decides they want to quit.

    Using late-term abortion as an excuse to ban all abortions, as if to claim that most abortions are late-term, is hateful ignorant propaganda.

  23. I reiterate – a woman should consult one or more people of her choice, depending upon the circumstances, and then it is HER decision. Government is never on the list of possible “consultees”.

    This also glosses over the issue that many of the anti-abortion forces define all contraception (expect abstinence) as abortifacients, which they want to ban.

    A basic rule used to be that Democrats wanted to put a floor on people’s rights at a national level and allow for more rights on a state level. Republicans want to put a ceiling on people’s rights and allow for the states to be more restrictive.

    The roles are reversed when it comes to pollution, corporate greed, etc.

    Of course, that was in the olden days, but much of it still applies.

    States Rights has always been a noble sounding excuse for bad ideas.
    I also reiterate – a Right is a Right and not subject to the whims of the people, be it Federal or State government.

  24. The 13th Amendment prohibits Involuntary Servitude. Clear and unambiguous. If any are unable to grasp the definitions of the words, please refer to the dictionaries. Webster and Cambridge are both good sources.

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