Senator Marion Michael Rounds is getting headlines for talking like a swing-state Republican (or maybe a Republican Supreme Court nominee) and saying on CNN Sunday that he doesn’t support Senator Lindsey Graham’s divisive national 15-week abortion ban. For this political moment, Rounds is sticking with the states’ rights line that his party invokes more out of convenience than conviction:
…right now, we should allow the states to explore the different possibilities about the appropriate way.
Here in South Dakota, we have one which is what I actually signed into law when I was governor back in 2005-2006. I think the individual states will come up with a multiple—a whole lot of different ideas about how to appropriately discuss abortion in general. And then I think there will be a consensus over a period of years.
But, at this point, to have Congress step back and have to tell all of the states that we know better than them how to handle this is probably not the right direction to go.
We actually looked when—before the last decision, we actually looked as a group of us trying to ban any abortion past 20 weeks. We weren’t successful at that time. I don’t think any proposal today would be successful in the House and the Senate. I think a better approach probably will be to allow the states to work through this and to find the appropriate language on a state-by-state basis and to find that common ground.
After that, maybe Congress steps in again. But, at this point, I think the states are in a better shape to explore and to find the right direction on a state-by-state basis [Senator M. Michael Rounds, interview with Jake Tapper, CNN: State of the Union, 2022.09.18].
“Consensus” is Rounds’s code for “the next time Republicans control the Senate.” Rounds and other Republicans aren’t willing to risk a vote for Graham’s bill right now, so Rounds will settle for subjugating women state by Handmaid state until the headcount in the undemocratic Senate, gerrymandered House, and a White House stolen by a national corps of Monae Johnsons will allow Rounds and his misogynist party to force pregnancy on every American woman.
Senator Rounds is not saying he opposes federal legislation to take away everyone’s right to abortion. Senator Rounds is saying he’s just waiting for the day when such a federal ban has the votes to pass.