Mitch McConnell touches on possibility of national abortion ban

Washington DC - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he is "not advocating" for a national abortion ban as rightwing attacks on reproductive freedom ramp up across the US.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he is "not advocating" for a national abortion ban – a matter he believes should be left to the states.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he is "not advocating" for a national abortion ban – a matter he believes should be left to the states.  © Andrew Harnik / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

"I don’t think we'll get 60 votes in the Senate for any kind of national legislation," the Kentucky Republican told NBC's Meet the Press in an interview aired Sunday.

"I'm not advocating anything at this level. I think it’s gonna be sorted out all across the country and be very different in different states."

McConnell had been asked to explain his views on a national ban on abortion care, which in 2022 he said was "possible." GOP Senator Lindsey Graham has since introduced legislation to outlaw most abortions after 15 weeks.

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"I said it was possible. I didn’t say that was my view," McConnell told NBC's Kristen Welker.

"It seems to me views about this issue at the state level vary depending where you are," he continued. "And we get elected by states. And my members are smart enough to figure out how they want to deal with this very divisive issue based upon the people who actually send them here."

Abortion rights take center stage as 2024 election heats up

McConnell's comments come as Republican-led states across the country have taken advantage of the Supreme Court overturning of Roe v. Wade to pass a slew of extreme anti-abortion measures.

President Joe Biden is campaigning heavily on protecting abortion access as he eyes a 2024 rematch with his GOP predecessor, Donald Trump.

Trump has been wary of calling for an all-out national ban but has celebrated and claimed credit for the 2022 SCOTUS decision.

Meanwhile, the Women's Health Protection Act – legislation to codify abortion rights at the federal level – remains stalled in Congress.

Cover photo: Andrew Harnik / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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