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Lawmakers stay in their lanes on Supreme Court abortion pill ruling

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On Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he will “live with whatever decision” eventually emerges from the court, while also attacking abortion as a practice and citing his previous support for national legislation limiting it.

“It’s a human rights issue,” Graham said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “At 15 weeks you have a developed heart and lungs, and to dismember a child at 15 weeks is a painful experience. It’s barbaric [it’s] out of line with the rest of the civilized world.”

That’s the stance that any Republican who hopes to have a shot at the GOP presidential nomination in 2024 will have as well, Graham said.

“Anybody running for president who has a snowball’s chance in hell in the 2024 primary is going to be with me, the American people, and all of Europe, saying late-term abortions should be off the table,” Graham said.

But Republican Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) cautioned against going too far on anti-abortion legislation ahead of 2024.

“I want us to find some middle ground,” Mace said on ABC’s “This Week,” after voicing support for the court’s decision to protect mifepristone. “There are — in my home state of South Carolina, there was a … very small group of state legislatures that filed a bill that would execute women who have abortions and gave more rights to rapists than women who have been raped. That is the wrong message heading into ’24. We’re going to — we’re going to lose huge if we continue down this path of extremities.”

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu voiced the same concerns Sunday. “If we stay in our traditional lanes, we’re going to lose. There’s no doubt about it,” Sununu said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The Republican governor, a possible 2024 presidential candidate, referenced polls that he said show dwindling support for legislation banning abortion from younger generations of Republicans.

“Look, the next generation of Republicans, right, if you look at the polls from about [ages] 45 and under, when you look at their priorities, you know, banning abortion is not one of their priorities. It’s not,” he said.

Former Gov. Asa Hutchinson — a 2024 presidential contender — said that while he supports limits on abortions, Republicans have fought for decades to have states determine the rules, instead of the federal government. “I would prefer that this is an issue that is resolved by the states,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers applauded Friday’s ruling as being a legally and medically sound decision that lets women maintain control of their own health.

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) voiced support for the Supreme Court’s decision, and noted that the drug is used for medical conditions other than abortion.

“I’m certainly not in a position to know, I’m not a medical expert, nor are the Supreme Court justices,” Dingell said on “Fox News Sunday.” “We have agencies designed and set up to do the scientific process and that is where I think the responsibility belongs.”

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) also challenged the logic behind the initial decision that was built around a challenge to the FDA’s processes.

“I think it was crazy. The notion that you would take a drug that has been used safely for more than two decades and somehow then take that away from availability,” Warner said of the lower court decision.

“You know, I frankly think this is an issue that women’s healthcare choices ought to be made by women, and the idea of this judge so radically intervening with a safe procedure … undermines the very integrity of our FDA process,” he said on “This Week.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) also said the Supreme Court’s decision Friday was the correct one.

“The people of this country believe that the women of this country should be able to make their own decisions about their health care … and they don’t want Ted Cruz in the waiting room,” Klobuchar said on State of the Union, citing a Texas Republican senator who is an abortion foe.

During his interview, Graham pointed to the Comstock Act, a sweeping anti-obscenity measure passed by Congress in 1873 that District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk cited in his initial decision to block abortion medication from being sent by mail.

“I think it’s a law on the books and it was placed there for a reason,” Graham said when asked about applying the 19th century law to the case.

“But sending the abortion drug through the mail is a big change in how it is provided. In 2000 when it was first approved, you had to have four visits to the doctor. In 2021, the Biden administration said you don’t have to even consult a physician anymore and send it through the mail. Is that safe? … That’s what the court will decide,” Graham said.

But Klobuchar said that legislation is outdated.

“The Comstock Act that [was] literally passed, Dana, in 1873,” Klobuchar told CNN’s Dana Bash. “That is 10 years before the ‘Yellowstone’ prequel. … that is at a time when healthcare — when you were treated for pneumonia through bloodletting,” she said.

“The American people do not want to go backward. And what I heard today is that Republican leaders in Washington aren’t backing down on their opposition to reproductive freedom. They are doubling down,” she said.

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( With inputs from : www.politico.com )

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