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'I feel better with the exceptions,' he told a Charleston newspaper.Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews

COLUMBIA, May 27, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Senator Lindsey Graham is upset that a new law in his home state protects too many babies from late-term abortion, local media report.

The version of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed on Wednesday does not contain an exception for rape and incest. The law halts abortions in the state at 19 weeks, except to save the mother's life or if the child is not viable. Violators could receive three years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

While Sen. Graham reportedly praised Gov. Haley for signing the law, he told a local newspaper that he wishes it included exceptions for rape and incest, like the version of the bill he introduced in the U.S. Senate.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reports:

“I feel better with the exceptions,” Graham told The Post and Courier on Thursday, a day after Haley’s bill signing in Columbia. “That’s where I’ve always been on this issue.” …

He wished South Carolina had been able to work in the additional exception language with a federal response pending, but ultimately said it was the best the Palmetto State was going to get for the time being, and praised Haley for enacting the law.

“That’s what the market is there,” Graham said.

Sen. Graham had previously criticized Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio as too pro-life, for not favoring abortion in the case of rape or incest.

“If a woman is raped in Ted Cruz’s world, she’s going to have to carry the baby of the rapist. I'm pro-life, but I won't go there,” he told MSNBC in February.

Graham, who briefly sought the Republican presidential nomination for himself, was acting as a surrogate for Jeb Bush's presidential campaign at the time.

Graham added that a fuller pro-life position would be “hard to sell with young women.”

When asked about the bill's lack of exceptions, Gov. Haley, a 44-year-old mother of two, said, “I can’t imagine any scenario in which I wouldn’t sign it.”

The original version of the federal Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, as introduced by Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona, did not contain exceptions for rape and incest, either. They were added by former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor after Rep. Franks made a perceived verbal faux pas about rape.

South Carolina State Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, held a filibuster to remove the rape and incest exceptions from his statewide fetal pain bill.

Rebecca Kiessling, who was conceived in rape, thanked him at the time, saying lives like hers should not be used as political “bargaining chips.”


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