North Carolina Congressman Ted Budd, a Republican Senate candidate, has signed on as a co-sponsor to a U.S. House bill that would outlaw abortions nationwide past 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Budd, a three-term Congressman in the midst of a highly contested race for U.S. Senate, was one of 86 Republicans to co-sign House Resolution 8814. The legislation, called the Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act, states that “the abortion shall not be performed or attempted, if the probable gestational age” determined “of the unborn child is 15 weeks or greater.” It includes exceptions for cases of rape, incest or complications due to a life-threatening pregnancy.
H.R. 8814 is a companion to Senate Bill 4840, which was introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-KY). The two pieces of legislation were introduced to the House and Senate, respectively, on Sept. 13, three months after the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, the case ruling which had originally established a constitutional right to abortion access since 1973. In North Carolina, abortion is currently legal up to 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Budd has been a staunch opponent of abortion throughout his political career. His campaign website states: “I believe that life begins at conception and that our country should not stand for the injustice of ending the lives of millions of unborn children every year through abortion.”
Recent anti-abortion legislation efforts have drawn mixed reactions from Republicans as midterms approach. “I think that most members of my conference prefer that this be dealt with at the state level,” said Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate minority leader.
In North Carolina, Democratic Senate candidate Cheri Beasley, Budd’s opponent, was quick to voice her opposition to Budd’s stance.
“My opponent Congressman Ted Budd co-sponsored the Republican bill to ban abortion nationwide. I was taught that actions speak louder than words—and Budd has shown that he WILL lead the charge to take away our personal freedoms as Senator. Full stop,” Beasley tweeted on Sept. 14.
Six hours later, she followed her statement with a second tweet that read, “Ted Budd is just too extreme for North Carolina.”
As midterms approach this November, abortion will be a critical issue on the ballot. The two candidates have agreed to a televised debate scheduled for Oct. 7.
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Sevana Wenn is a Trinity sophomore and features managing editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.