The Goal of the Pro-Life Movement is Protecting Babies From Abortion, Not States Rights

On Monday, former President Donald Trump released a video statement outlining his view that abortion restrictions should be left up to the states. He stated, “My view is that now that we have abortion where everybody wants it from a legal standpoint, the states will decide by vote or law or maybe both, and whatever they decide must be the law of the land. In this case, state law.”

The former president claimed that federal abortion bans are “unpopular with voters and could hurt Republicans’ elections.” But in response to Trump’s remarks, Sen. Lindsey Graham (RS.C.), a close Trump ally, fired back with a statement on Monday, “I respectfully disagree with President Trump’s statement that abortion is a states’ rights issue.” While the senator acknowledged that states have a large role to play, he stands by the belief that some form of federal limitation is necessary to protect life.

Like the New York Post reported, “Graham … came out in vain to propose a federal ban on most abortions after 15 weeks — with exceptions for rape, incest or risks to the mother’s life or health — just months after the Court overturned Supreme Roe v. Wade in June 2022.” Trump criticized the move, saying, “Democrats are happy with Lindsey, because they want this issue to simmer for as long as possible.”

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According to The Washington Post, “Graham’s position on abortion is not new,” but his “criticism of Trump marked a rare break between the two in recent years.” Despite the backlash Graham received from the former president for his remarks, the South Carolinian insisted he will continue to push for “national minimum standards limiting abortion.”

On Tuesday’s episode of “Washington Watch,” he told Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, “[T]his politics are difficult. … But we have to sit and think and pray about what’s next for the pro-life movement.” Perkins agreed. “[A]Christians, we know that we must protect the most innocent among us. And creating a culture of life requires work at every level of government.”

As for passing stronger restrictions on abortion, Graham pointed out, “[Y]you will never get votes unless you work hard to get the votes. So, what am I trying to do? I’m trying to find a consensus.” He explained that there is consensus for 15-week protections, as his proposal states, because then “the child can suck his thumb. [and is] can feel pain.” And he argued that this type of legislation is supported by a large amount of Americans. “I understand the issue of states’ rights to a point,” he said, “but I’m not going to sit on side and watch California and New York and other states allow abortion on demand up to the moment of birth without trying to do something. about that.”

Perkins made it clear that he was “for protecting life from the moment of conception on” but added, “I understand that in this republic … we have to have a consensus on some points. So, we’re working, and we’re getting there we get to one point, and then we work, and we get to another point. That’s how it works.” To which Graham urged, “That’s the way it works in your personal life. That’s the way it works in your political life.” Fifteen weeks is “a minimum standard,” he insisted. “It does not override state laws [that have stronger protections],” but it sets the bar low and helps highlight what the pro-life movement really is.

Graham continued, “This is what I want the pro-life movement to be about: the child. … I want it to be a happy movement. I want it to help the mother make good decisions. I want it to be a loving and caring movement.” But to do so, he insists, it’s not simply a “state’s rights issue” because it “eliminates the fact that it’s about the child all the time, every time.” He emphasized that “geography is not the point of the pro-life movement. The point of the pro-life movement is to protect unborn children as best you can and find consensus.”

The senator compared these events to the Dred Scott decision in 1857, which ruled “Congress has no authority to prohibit slavery from a federal territory.” Graham said, “There was a time in our country where some states could have slaves if they wanted to, and other states didn’t have to. You know what we said? ‘No one should own a slave.’” Consequently, he urged, “The day will come when science and education … will convince the American people that late-term abortions are barbaric. And I will continue to fight [and] supporting it because I believe late-term abortions are barbaric.”

He stated, “My goal as a member of the Senate is to continue to educate the American people about the unborn and try to find consensus and protect them where we can.”

As Perkins said, “Republicans must build a consensus for creating a culture of life that is inclusive. And we got here. … It took time, but we got there because we didn’t abandon the fundamental understanding that all life has value because it is created in the image of God. And there is duty … in states … but there is [also] a role at the federal level.”

LifeNews Note: Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand, where it originally appeared.

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