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Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina thought he had hit a sweet spot last month when he introduced his 15-week national abortion ban. It was something Republicans could supposedly rally around and, yet, not as repulsive as a zero-tolerance national abortion ban conservative zealots clearly want to impose on the country.
But a 15-week abortion ban is still a ban, robbing women of their bodily autonomy and their right to make their own health care decisions. There's just no putting lipstick on that pig, and new polling from the progressive consortium Navigator Research shows that voters get it.
In broad terms, Americans oppose a nationwide abortion ban by a 41-point margin, 27% support-68% oppose, including a 70% majority of independents and even a 49% plurality of Republicans (with 44% supporting one).
But Navigator also tested support for abortion bans using two different descriptions, one of which specified banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Described as a “national abortion ban, which would ban abortions in all 50 states without exceptions for the health of the mother” without mentioning the 15-week restriction, respondents opposed ban by 41 points, 25% support-66% opposed.
But adding Graham's 15-week qualifier barely moved the needle. Described as a "national abortion ban, which would ban abortions in all 50 states after 15 weeks without exceptions for the health of the mother," the measure was still 38 points underwater, with 27% support-65% opposed.
In the end, a national ban is a national ban to two-thirds of Americans, no matter how Graham tried to dress it up.
Another key finding of the survey was that respondents found the prospect of a national abortion ban even more motivating than the overturning of Roe v. Wade itself.
In previous Navigator tracking, 58% of Americans said the Supreme Court overturning Roe made them more motivated to vote, including 72% of pro-choice Americans compared to just 39% of anti-abortion Americans. But news of a national abortion ban bumped Americans' urgency to vote by 7 points to 65%, including 82% of Democrats and 79% of pro-choice Americans, compared to just 48% of Republicans and 43% of pro-life Americans.
It's worth remembering here that Graham not only unveiled the bill, he also promised it would get a vote if Republicans took control of Congress.
“If [Republicans] take back the House and the Senate, I can assure you we’ll have a vote on our bill," Graham pledged at a press conference last month.
Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.
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Fox News heavily promoted the U.S. Senate candidacy of former football star Herschel Walker from its earliest stages, despite Walker’s seeming lack of qualifications and well-known personal history that included multiple reports of domestic violence. Now, the network has been almost silent on the biggest story of the race so far, after The Daily Beast reported Monday night that Walker had paid for a girlfriend’s abortion in 2009, despite his current hardline anti-abortion stance.
Walker appeared Monday night to address the reporting with Fox News prime-time host Sean Hannity, a longtime Trump adviser and perhaps Walker’s earliest and most prominent endorser on the network. The interview went badly, as Walker failed to refute that he had sent a $700 check and a get-well card to the unnamed woman, who said it was to reimburse her total expenses from receiving an abortion. (The woman also provided The Daily Beast with a $575 receipt from a clinic for the procedure.)
Tuesday morning’s edition of Fox & Friends featured only a short news headline delivered by Fox & Friends First co-host Carley Shimkus, lasting a little over 30 seconds. This paltry coverage was despite the fact that the show’s co-host Brian Kilmeade has personally boosted Walker’s campaign with puff pieces featuring the candidate, and could be seen on the couch with his co-hosts following Shimkus’ news reading. None of the Fox & Friends co-hosts had anything to say about the story.
Fox’s next program, America's Newsroom, also offered the story nothing more than a single headline read despite purporting to be one of the network's “straight news” daytime programs. In addition, Fox News chief Washington correspondent Mike Emanuel highlighted some of the tweets by one of Walker’s children, right-wing social media personality Christian Walker, who called out his father both for womanizing and for having threatened to kill his family.
Emanuel effectively let Herschel Walker get the last word in, however, by citing a tweet in which the candidate “says he loves his son, no matter what.” Emanuel failed to note, however, that Christian Walker had already responded to that message by citing his father’s failure to raise multiple children he is now known to have conceived.
Christian Walker had deleted his rebuttal Monday night, but it was captured in screen grabs by multiple journalists, including HuffPost senior politics reporter Igor Bobic.
Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.
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