Some potential GOP presidential candidates are showing their support for a piece of controversial abortion legislation.
The Brody File has obtained letters from many of them backing a bill that would ban abortions in America after 20 weeks.
Watch the television story below. The rest of the online story is below the video.
Pro-lifers say the bill is one of the most important to come along in quite some time. It’s a federal attempt to ban all abortions after 20 weeks, the halfway point of pregnancy.
It’s commonly referred to as the fetal pain bill, because of the prevailing medical opinion that an unborn baby can feel pain by then. Sen. Lindsey Graham is the main sponsor of the bill.
“If you’re telling parents to sing to the baby because they understand your voice, should we really be aborting a child at the stage of the pregnancy?” Graham tells The Brody File. “I don’t want anybody carrying the republican banner that doesn’t get this. If you don’t get this, then you’re the extremist.”
That’s why Graham, along with pro-life groups like the Susan B Anthony List (SBA-List) and National Right to Life are pressuring possible republican presidential contenders to get behind the bill, even though many Democrats and pundits will consider it toxic.
And the response so far?
“Great response,” Graham says. “All the major candidates, I think will be with us. I couldn’t be more pleased.”
In those letters of support, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush calls the bill “humane” and “compassionate.” Mike Huckabee says the effort is “pro-life and pro-woman.” And Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal considers it “common sense.”
All told, letters and support came in from Bush, Jindal, Huckabee, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
As for other potential republican candidates, Texas Gov. Rick Perry did sign a similar version of the bill in his state. And Wisconsin congressman and former vice- presidential candidate Paul Ryan supported the version in the House of Representatives. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker have both yet to provide letters.
Supporters say a law banning abortion after 20 weeks is long overdue. Currently, the United States is one of only seven countries that allow elective abortions after 20 weeks. The others are North Korea, Canada, China, The Netherlands, Singapore, and Vietnam.
Polling does seem to be on the side of the pro-lifers too: 55 percent of Americans think abortion should be banned after 20 weeks.
And the number is even higher among women: it’s at 60 percent.
SBA-List President Marjorie Dannenfelser tells The Brody File that this bill has momentum.
“This one has caught fire, Dannenfelser says. “This is wildly popular and its wildly popular certainly with pro-life people, of course we want to protect those children but it’s also very popular with democratic women. It’s also popular with young people. It’s very popular with women. That’s called consensus.”
But critics beg to differ, thinking that because Roe v. Wade is the law of the land, this bill won’t hold up constitutionally, arguing that the baby isn’t viable outside the womb until 22 weeks, not 20.
“Roe v Wade says that the government has a compelling interest in protecting the unborn at medical viability," Graham tells The Brody File. “That’s 1973. A lot has changed since 1973.”
But what about the concern that pushing this will give democrats more ammunition to peddle their campaign theme that the republicans are carrying out a war on women? Graham clearly welcomes the challenge. “Bring it on. I want this debate.”
He could get it if Republicans take back the Senate in the upcoming midterm elections. Right now, the Senate Democratic leadership won’t bring the bill up for a vote, even though it’s already passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.
But if Republicans do win the Senate, the debate about what happens to an unborn baby in an abortion could be front and center once again.