House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that there is clearly “conflict” within the Republican Party on the issue of abortion, considering that many GOP lawmakers have been muted in response to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introducing a national abortion ban bill.
“There are those in the party that think that life begins at the candlelight dinner the night before,” Pelosi said at her weekly press conference, sending at least one reporter into a fit of laughter.
“And these people are in defiance of that,” she continued, referring to Republicans who don’t want to talk about Graham’s bill. “That’s what you’re seeing there. But we are united in our support for a woman’s right to choose.”
The bill, introduced Tuesday, would ban abortion nationwide after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Senate Republicans’ reactions have been all over the place, with some saying the issue should be left up to the states and others just not wanting to discuss it at all.
“Most of the members in my conference prefer this be dealt with at the state level,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters.
“I, for one, want to focus on the inflation numbers that came out today,” said Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.). “That’s what people are talking about.”
Pelosi said she noticed a clip of Graham on TV earlier in the day, a replay of footage from August showing him argue that abortion matters should be decided at the state level.
She speculated that his and other Republicans’ abrupt shift away from tying the issue to state’s rights “is probably at the insistence of the MAGA grassroots coming out and saying there should be a federal ban,” referencing former President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.
“You’ll have to ask Republicans why they poured cold water on it,” she added. “But they know they are digging a hole, and they just keep digging it.”