Here’s what he’s said today, upon introducing an abortion ban that would prevent many states, including Kansas, from being able to decide to keep abortion legal: “Abortion is not banned in America. It’s left up to elected officials to define the issue. You have states and the ability to do it at the state level. And we have the ability in Washington to speak on this issue if we choose. I have chosen to speak.”


He’s simply gaslighting voters.

Graham’s bravado was tempered by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who wouldn’t commit to bringing the bill to the floor. “I think most of the members of my conference prefer that this will be dealt with at the state level,” McConnell said at a press conference.


Even lack of support from his party leader couldn’t sway Graham, who said the “consensus” among anti-abortion groups and activists is that they want this bill (nevermind that most Americans don’t). “I don’t think this is going to hurt us” politically, he told reporters.

Graham’s bill hides behind exceptions that few people will be able to access. The legislation includes exceptions to “save the life of a pregnant women whose life is endangered” by physical factors but not “psychological or emotional conditions.” That means mental health disorders and suicide is not reason to get an abortion under Graham’s legislation. If an abortion patient is raped, in order to get an abortion, they must get counseling or get medical treatment related to the rape. If an incest victim becomes pregnant, the rape must be reported to child welfare agency or law enforcement.


At the end of the press conference, Graham made horrifying prediction. “We stay on this and keep talking about it, maybe less than a decade, this will be law,” he said.

A nationwide abortion ban—like the overturning of Roe v. Wade—is a long game. And they won’t stop at 15 weeks, either.