U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-Seneca, announced backing Thursday of a prominent national right-to-life organization and its South Carolina affiliate.
The political action committees for the National Right to Life and S.C. Citizens for Life endorsed Graham, a two-term senator running against six challengers in June's primary.
Graham introduced a bill this year that would ban abortions after 20 weeks on the assumption that fetuses can feel pain at that time. He also authored the Unborn Victims of Violence Act and co-sponsored a partial birth abortion ban, both signed into law.
In a news release from Graham's campaign, National Right to Life President Carol Tobias said, “National Right to Life believes that all voters who are concerned with the right to life and with the protection of the most vulnerable members of the human family should vote to return Senator Graham to the Senate so that he can continue to work to advance vital pro-life public policies." “Lindsey Graham has been a pro-life champion throughout his years of congressional service,” said Douglas Johnson, National Right to Life legislative director. “He was the architect of one of the most important pro-life laws ever enacted by Congress, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which punishes those who injure or kill unborn children while committing federal crimes."
“Senator Graham is a stalwart, go-to lawmaker on right-to-life issues,” said Lisa Van Riper, South Carolina Citizens for Life president. “Because he never wavered on life issues, Senator Graham has been recognized as our Legislator of the Year.”
“I am honored to have the support of the National Right to Life and South Carolina Citizens for Life,” Graham said in the release. “I have worked closely with them on state and federal legislation protecting the unborn. NRLC and SCCL are two of the most effective organizations in the country when it comes to protecting the right-to-life. I will continue to fight for the rights of the unborn in the Senate, and I deeply appreciate the confidence they’ve placed in me.” National Right to Life bills itself as the "oldest and largest single-issue pro-life organization, with 50 state affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters.
Six Republicans -- Columbia pastor Det Bowers, state Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, Easley businessman Richard Cash, Orangeburg attorney Bill Connor, Columbia attorney Benjamin Dunn, and Charleston PR executive Nancy Mace -- are running against Graham in the June 10 primary. Two Democrats, state Sen. Brad Hutto of Orangeburg and Irmo resident Jay Stamper, and Libertarian Victor Kocher of Columbia also are running for the Senate seat.
Graham's campaign also released a video that will run online: