'I don't understand what Lindsey Graham really is thinking' with latest proposal: Senate colleague
Lindsey Graham (Photo by Chip Somodevilla for AFP)

Appearing on MSNBC on Tuesday morning, Sen. Angus King (I-ME) expressed both dismay and surprise at a report from Axios that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is heading up a group of Republican senators who want to pass a federal law that would ban abortions after 15 weeks.

Despite the fact that GOP lawmakers have been lauding the Supreme Court's highly controversial decision to dismantle Roe v. Wade and allow state legislatures set their own abortion limits, Graham and some of his colleagues are plunging ahead with a federal limitation.

According to the Axios report, the South Carolina Republican is set to hold a Tuesday press conference "with anti-abortion leaders on the introduction of the Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act."

The report adds, "Graham has previously introduced bills that sought to ban abortions nationally from 20 weeks. But the new measure is expected to call for a ban from 15 weeks, per the Washington Post."

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Asked by "Morning Joe" regular Katty Kay about Graham's intentions, which runs counter to the Republicans backing off abortion talk as the midterms loom, King admitted he was baffled.

'We are looking at Republicans who had taken extreme positions on abortion bans in their own states to win primaries now running in a general election in November and trying to kind of dial back those more extreme positions," Kay prompted. "What do you make of what Senator Graham is proposing?"

"Well, it's almost amusing if it wasn't so serious," he began. "These are the guys who for years have been talking about states' rights. I think they only like states' rights if the state does what they want. They only like democracy if they win elections."

"And the other thing," he continued. "Conservatives always talk about, you know, keeping the government out of your lives, how about keeping the government out of your bedroom and doctors office? And that's what we're talking about here. I think it's a profoundly conservative opinion to say, you know, these are personal decisions. This is not something that the government should be intervening in."

Addressing his Senate colleague, he added, "I don't understand what Lindsey Graham is really thinking about here unless he's playing to some constituency in South Carolina or on the right-wing of the Republican Party."

"This is more than about abortion," he insisted. "This is really about autonomy, this is about women's ability to have the freedom to control their bodies. I have often thought if men had to randomly have babies, I think they would be viewing this somewhat differently. To see these men leading the charge to impose rules and obligations and dangerous medical conditions on women, it's just -- it doesn't work on any level."

Watch the video below or at this link.

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