As Republicans press a national abortion ban, 70% of Americans don’t even trust politicians to make abortion policy, according to a new poll from 19th News/SurveyMonkey. Asked to assess whether “Politicians are informed enough about abortion to create fair policies,” seven out of 10 respondents said no.
Considering we’ve seen Republican politicians repeatedly showing how little they understand the basic physical facts of pregnancy, it’s hard to dispute that statement. In Ohio a couple years ago, a Republican bill called for ectopic pregnancies to be reimplanted in the uterus, which is not medically possible. In Missouri this year, Republicans put language in an anti-abortion bill making it a class A felony if “The abortion was performed or induced or was attempted to be performed or induced on a woman who has an ectopic pregnancy.” Those bills didn’t pass, but they show the basic ignorance of many of the people making laws about pregnancy.
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The poll also found 31% support for abortion to be legal in all cases, 30% support for it to be legal in most cases, 25% wanting it to be illegal in most cases, and 10% wanting it to be illegal in all cases. That’s 61% for legal abortion to 35% against it. Once again, that looks like bad news for Republicans pushing for a national 15-week ban.
Just two religious groups—Mormons and evangelical Christians—did not have majority support for abortion rights, according to the poll. Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Greek or Russian Orthodox, Jews, atheists and agnostics, and people with no religious affiliation all showed majority support for legal abortion.
But Republicans have introduced a national 15-week abortion ban in both the Senate and the House, with three cosponsors so far in the Senate and 86 so far in the House. Senate candidates in several battleground states have expressed support for the national abortion ban, too. When Sen. Lindsey Graham, the sponsor of the Senate bill, said, “If we take back the House and Senate, I can assure you we'll have a vote,” he was telling the truth.
Many Senate Republicans wish their party wasn’t talking about this right now, because it’s extremely bad politics less than two months ahead of the midterm elections, but there’s no doubt that they’d been planning for a national abortion ban long before this. House Republicans have introduced more than 150 bills limiting abortion rights, and following the initial leak of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the decision would mean that “legislative bodies—not only at the state level but at the federal level—certainly could legislate in that area,” and that a federal abortion ban was “possible.”
Republicans are out of step with the U.S. public on this. But that won’t stop them from pushing it the minute they have the control of Congress they need in order to do so.
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About that national abortion ban congressional Republicans have been planning …
House Republicans introduce their own national abortion ban, with a key Senate candidate on board