The White House on Tuesday described a new bill that would impose a nationwide ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy as “wildly out of step” with the country, pushing back hard on the legislation introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement that the ban “would strip away women’s rights in all 50 states.”
“This bill is wildly out of step with what Americans believe,” she said. “The President and Vice President are fighting for progress, while Republicans are fighting to take us back.”
The Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade decision establishing a constitutional right to abortion over the summer, ushering in new bans on abortion in a number of states.
Democrats have sought to harness grassroots anger over the court’s decision and the strict new laws to their benefit by making abortion rights a big issue in the midterm elections.
Jean-Pierre said that Biden and Democrats in Congress are committed to restoring Roe v. Wade. The White House has pushed for Congress to codify Roe but passing such a measure would take a larger Democratic majority in the Senate to overcome a legislative filibuster.
“President Biden and Congressional Democrats are committed to restoring the protections of Roe v. Wade in the face of continued radical steps by elected Republicans to put personal health care decisions in the hands of politicians instead of women and their doctors, threatening women’s health and lives,” Jean-Pierre said.
She called Graham’s bill “an extreme piece of legislation” while briefing reporters later on Tuesday.
“The first thing is the senators’ proposal would keep in place the most extreme, the most extreme state level abortion bans that ban all abortions and have no exemptions for health,” she said.
Additionally, she bashed Graham for previously saying that the issue of abortion should be left up to the states.
“That’s from his own his own mouth and now he wants to do a national ban,” she said.
Graham’s bill includes exceptions for rape, incest and risk to life of the mother.
Graham vowed on Tuesday that Congress will vote for the bill if Republicans take back the House and the Senate in the upcoming midterm elections. The bill won’t move in the current Democratic-controlled Congress.
Updated at 2:36 p.m.