Lindsey Graham is one of the most dishonest politicians in Washington, D.C. He helped sell lies that gave conservatives the 6-3 Supreme Court majority it had long craved. The Court rewarded those lies by uprooting Roe v. Wade and a half-century precedent that had ensured women would have access to reproductive health care without too much interference from the government. It should come as no surprise then that the senior senator from South Carolina is the one to expose one of the Republican Party’s biggest lies of late, that they wanted abortion to be decided at the state level.
It was never a tenable position. It was always illogical to claim that what they called “murder” should be illegal or legal based upon where the abortion is performed. They would not suggest they’d be OK with the murder of toddlers being declared legal in South Carolina and illegal in California but that’s what they tried to proclaim about abortion. If it’s murder, it should be outlawed, full stop. If it’s not, stop inflaming an already-emotionally and morally-sensitive debate.
Back in May, Graham was a part of that lie. He tweeted he believed the most constitutionally sound way of dealing with this issue and the way the United States handled it until 1973 was for every state to “decide if abortion is legal and on what terms.” But this week, he sang a different tune as he proposed a national 15-week abortion ban. Though he labeled it the Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act, it’s transparently an attempt to role back reproductive rights in states led by Democrats and allowing red states to implementing draconian anti-abortion laws.
Graham becoming the face of the Republican push to impose an abortion ban nationwide is right out of central casting, given that his was a critical voice in the misleading way the party reshaped the Supreme Court. Graham helped sell the lie that it was customary to not sit a new justice during the year of a presidential election after then-President Barack Obama nominated now-Attorney General Merrick Garland to an open seat. The GOP, with Graham’s full approval, left the Court short-handed for nearly a year just to rob a Democrat of one of the most consequential decisions a president can make. He lied and said that would be the new standard, that he’d oppose attempts by a Republican president to sit a new Court member during an election year – until he did just that during then-President Donald Trump’s final year in office and voted to make Amy Coney Barrett the newest Supreme Court justice.
Nothing the man says can be trusted, no matter how self-righteously he says it, and he loves projecting his self-righteous voice. Maybe that’s why S.C. State Rep. Neil Collins had no problem projecting empathy for women in a widely-circulated video of his testimony before a state House committee. He told us about a 19-year-old who miscarried at 15 weeks into her pregnancy, how a doctor told him the girl’s life was threatened.
“The doctor told me at that point, well first, there’s a greater than 50 percent chance that she’s going to lose her uterus,” Collins said. “There’s a 10 percent chance that she will develop sepsis and herself die. That weighs on me. I voted for that bill. These are affecting people.”
I should have known he would later have no problem voting for an even more barbaric anti-abortion law just days later. He probably knows Graham’s political career hasn’t been hurt by saying one thing then doing another and suspects his won’t, either. Never mind the women who will be harmed by their duplicity.