While red-state legislatures may be passing anti-abortion bills, a study shows that full abortion bans are against the will of the vast majority of Americans.
After the Alabama Senate passed it Tuesday, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) is expected to sign a bill punishing doctors who perform abortions by up to 99 years in prison. The bill doesn’t include exceptions for rape and incest victims, and is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, which has been settled law for decades.
Recently, Ohio’s legislature passed a bill making abortions illegal after a woman has been pregnant for more than six weeks, which Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) signed into law. Like Alabama’s bill, the Ohio bill doesn’t allow exceptions for rape and incest victims. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has announced a challenge to the bill in federal court, pointing out that Gov. DeWine acknowledged that the bill is a “reversal of existing legal precedents.
The Alabama bill also comes just a week after Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R) signed into law a bill very similar to Ohio’s that would also outlaw abortions after six weeks of pregnancy (also known as the “heartbeat bill”). As Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) said, six weeks of pregnancy essentially amounts to a woman’s normal menstrual cycle coming two weeks late.
“Most of the men writing these bills don’t know the first thing about a woman’s body outside of the things they want from it,” she tweeted. “It’s relatively common for a woman to have a late period + not be pregnant. So this is a backdoor ban.”
“6 weeks pregnant” = 2 weeks late on your period.
Most of the men writing these bills don’t know the first thing about a woman’s body outside of the things they want from it. It’s relatively common for a woman to have a late period + not be pregnant.
So this is a backdoor ban. https://t.co/xWd9GAj51b
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 8, 2019
Despite all of these states passing bills that effectively ban abortion in most cases, lawmakers are doing so against the will of their own constituents. That’s according to a study conducted by a think tank called Data for Progress, which examined 2016 data finding that fewer than 25% of the population in any state — either red or blue — supported banning abortion outright.
In the color-coded map below, states where support for banning all abortions is 25% or less are colored orange, with a darker orange reflecting single-digit support. States where abortion ban support is above 25% would be colored white to green, with green indicating support of at least 30% and growing darker in hue as support gets closer to 40%. However, even in states like Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio, support for outlawing abortions is still less than 25%, according to Data for Progress’ research.
There is no state in the country where support for banning abortion reaches even 25 percent. (Data for Progress analysis of the 2016 Cooperative Congressional Election Studies) pic.twitter.com/lrOxU0eNaz
— Data for Progress (@DataProgress) May 15, 2019
BuzzFeed News reports that federal courts in Iowa, Kentucky, and North Dakota have already struck down abortion bans in their respective states, as those laws conflict with Roe. The fate of Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio’s anti-abortion bills is still in question.
Carl Gibson is a politics contributor for Grit Post. His work has previously been published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Houston Chronicle, Al-Jazeera America, and NPR, among others. Follow him on Twitter @crgibs or send him an email at carl at gritpost dot com.