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Lee says he can’t back Graham national 15-week abortion ban

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) makes a statement during a Senate Judiciary Committee business meeting to move the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson out of committee on Monday, April 4, 2022.
Greg Nash
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) makes a statement during a Senate Judiciary Committee business meeting to move the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson out of committee on Monday, April 4, 2022.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) on Sunday said he does not support legislation sponsored by fellow GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) that would ban abortions after 15 weeks across the nation, arguing that Republicans have “been saying for nearly 50 years that this is not a federal issue.”

Lee told “Fox News Sunday” host Shannon Bream that while he has “immense respect” for Graham, he and many Republicans have long fought for abortion to be left to the states.

“Now that Roe has been overturned correctly, we can’t suddenly make it a federal issue,” Lee said. “The best way to save the most babies is to allow states, each state to protect babies in the way they deem most appropriate for their state.”

Graham introduced the national ban on abortions last month, which led to some headaches among his GOP colleagues as Democrats continue to campaign on abortion rights following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe V. Wade in June.

Only a handful of Republicans have supported Graham’s bill, while most have echoed Lee in saying the issue should be left to states.

Since the fall of Roe, many GOP-led states have enacted strict abortion laws, while Democratic-led states have generally expanded abortion rights.

Three states have ballot measures in November that will ask voters to decide on the future of abortion access.

In Kansas, voters in August rejected an amendment to the state constitution declaring there is no right to an abortion.

Tags abortion abortion rights Lindsey Graham Lindsey Graham Mike Lee Mike Lee roe v wade Shannon Bream Utah

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