On Tuesday, 25 white male Republicans in Alabama voted to ban abortion in the state at every stage of pregnancy, unless the mother’s physical or mental health is in jeopardy. Gov. Kay Ivey signed the bill Wednesday, putting in place one of the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws.
A dozen states in 2019 have either passed or attempted to pass stricter abortion legislation. With the appointments of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, anti-abortion activists and conservative lawmakers are betting the bans will lead to lawsuits that could push the high court to overturn Roe v. Wade, which recognizes a woman’s constitutional right to abortion.
But polling shows the recent abortion bans are out of line with the beliefs of most Americans.
“If you look at national polling, this isn’t where the American public is and it frankly isn’t even where mainstream Republicans are,” said Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. “The harshness of it is pretty shocking.”
What Americans say about abortion
Nearly 60% of U.S. adults say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, according to a 2018 survey from the Pew Research Center.
While Gallup shows Americans are evenly split on how they personally identify — 48% of Americans consider themselves pro-life and 48% are pro-choice — as of 2018, 79% of Americans believe abortion should be legal in at least some circumstances. 54% of Americans say they are either satisfied with the country’s abortion laws or would like them to be made less strict, according to Gallup.
Only 14% of Americans, 16% of Southerners and 20% of Republicans believe abortion should be illegal in all cases, according to a 2018 survey from the Public Religion Research Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization.
More than a third of Republicans believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, according to Pew.
Men and women have similar views on abortion: 60% of women and 57% of men say it should be legal in all or most cases, according to Pew.
More than half of Catholics think abortion should be legal in all or most cases, according to Pew, as do 70% of white mainline Protestants.
Six in 10 Catholic voters believe abortion can be a moral choice, according to Catholics for Choice, a pro-choice organization of faith.
15% of Catholic and 28% of white evangelicals believe abortion should be illegal in all cases, according to the Public Religion Research Institute.
This article was originally published by USA Today.