Grassley spurns Lindsey Graham, will vote against 15-week abortion ban: ‘It’s a state issue’

Abortion should be handled by state legislatures, Republican says.

Updated: October 8, 2022 - 1:19pm

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GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley says he will vote against a proposed 15-week abortion ban at the federal level, arguing the issue should be taken up by state legislatures as a recent Supreme Court decision mandates.

Grassley made the surprising admission during a Friday debate with retired Navy admiral Mike Franken, who is challenging Grassley for his seat representing Iowa in the U.S. Senate. 

"We’ve been waiting for a long period of time to get [abortion regulation] back to the states," Grassley said during the debate, "and that’s where it should be, and that’s where I want it to be."

Asked if he would support a proposed ban on abortion at 15 weeks, one put forward most recently by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, Grassley said: "I would vote no." He admitted that he "did support" a similar bill prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s repeal of Roe v. Wade, but "now it’s a state issue."

Bans on abortion at around 15 weeks are common in numerous other parts of the world, including much of Western Europe, where numerous countries impose bans even earlier, some at 12 weeks of pregnancy.