May 14, 2014 — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday criticized Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-S.C.) call for a vote on legislation (S 1670) that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, saying the move is "all about" the Republican's upcoming primary race, Politico reports (Everett, Politico, 5/13).
Reid's comments came as Graham and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) held a press conference with antiabortion-rights groups to urge Reid to schedule the vote to coincide with the one-year anniversary of illegal abortion provider Kermit Gosnell's murder conviction (Bolton, The Hill, 5/13).
Democratic aides said there is little chance that Reid will allow a vote. Reid added, "As we know [Graham's] got a difficult primary" coming up "and he keeps moving further to the right. That's what this is all about" (Politico, 5/13).
Meanwhile, abortion-rights groups on Tuesday "made a preemptive strike against the legislation," with the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Center for Reproductive Rights and National Organization for Women all issuing statements criticizing the bill.
For example, CRR in its statement said Graham is trying to pit his measure against legislation (S 1696, HR 3471) by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) that would protect reproductive rights. Meanwhile, NOW President Terry O'Neill in a statement called Graham's measure "misogynistic and woman-hating, plain and simple" (Al-Faruque, The Hill, 5/13).