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Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley Will Vote Against National Abortion Ban

Senator Lindsey Graham introduced the Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act in September

Senator Chuck Grassley announced he will not support a national ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Grassley is the most senior Republican in the United States Senate and is currently seeking his eighth term in office.

During a televised debate, Grassley said he would vote “No” on the proposal which was introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. The Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act prohibits abortions after 15 weeks, but allows for expectations if the pregnancy was conceived through rape or incest or to save the life of the mother. Nine senators have sponsored the proposal so far – Steve Daines of Montana, Marco Rubio of Florida, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, John Thune of South Dakota, John Hoeven of North Dakota, Cindy Hyde-Smith of Missippi, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, Roger Marchal of Kansas, and Josh Hawley of Missouri. 

An identical piece of legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Christopher Smith of New Jersey. There are currently 100 co-sponsors.

Grassley currently leads his opponent, Democrat Mike Franken, 49% to 38% according to a poll from Emerson College. The poll found that 45% of voters believe the most important issue during midterm elections is the economy, followed by threats to democracy (17%) and abortion access (12%). Additionally, 49% of Iowa voters say they are more likely to participate in this year’s elections because the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.

“Embracing a 15-week abortion ban could rev up opposition among Iowa Democrats, especially younger voters in Des Moines and Iowa City, home of the University of Iowa, which is overwhelmingly more liberal than the rest of the state,” reports The Hill.

Grassley and 42 other senators previously supported a national ban on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy that Graham introduced in January of 2021. 

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has signaled that, should his party regain the majority in the chamber, he will not bring the 15-week ban to the floor for a vote during 2023.

During an Oct. 6 debate, Franken said he would support broad access to abortion as the procedure should be decided by a patient and a doctor.

“Well, the short of it is this is the most private, personal time in a woman’s life. We should [not] have the government stepping in to determine when viability exists, etc,” said the retired Navy Admiral, per The Daily Iowan. “The doctor knows this and the woman knows this. This is not something for the government to step in and make those determinations.” 

Grassley said he is “Pro-Life, Pro-Mother, and Pro-Family” but abortion should be regulated by state legislatures. He also critiques Franken’s position on the issue as too broad.

“He has the most extreme position on abortion that you can have and he wants abortion to be available till the last minute of birth,” Grassley said.

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