Claim: Democrats have been claiming that Republicans want to pass a law banning abortions nationally, making it illegal to obtain one in the U.S.
Rating: This claim is HALF TRUE. A number of Republican politicians have said that they do not want a total abortion ban but instead, want that decision to be made at the state level. At the same time, notable Republicans (such as former Vice President Mike Pence) have said they support a national abortion ban. Banning abortion nationally is not currently a unanimous position in the Republican party. If that changes, Viet Fact Check will update our rating accordingly.
The Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in the U.S. But on June 24, 2022, Roe v. Wade was overturned, leaving it up to the states to determine whether abortion should be legal in their states. Currently, abortion is banned (or will be banned) in 13 states, including in Texas and Oklahoma. In addition, 3 states have laws banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy and 3 states have laws banning abortion after 15 to 18 weeks of pregnancy. The status of abortion access is uncertain in 10 states.
However, after the overturn of Roe v. Wade, former Vice President Mike Pence, and Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader of the House of Representatives, came out supporting a nationwide abortion ban after 15 weeks of pregnancy. A nationwide ban would mean that abortion would be illegal nationally, even in states like California and New York where abortion is currently legal under state laws. Outlawing abortions would increase pregnancy-related deaths by 21%, according to a study published in the research journal Demography.
Additionally, midterm elections are this year where voters can vote on which politicians they want to send to Congress. Republican politicians have been talking through a nationwide anti-abortion strategy.
Yet a total abortion ban is not unanimously agreed upon in the Republican party. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said he doesn’t foresee Congress passing a national abortion ban if Republicans retake Congress after the 2022 midterms. But in another interview, McConnell also said a nationwide abortion ban was “possible,” showing that the issue is still under debate in the Republican party.
Many Republicans in the U.S. Senate do not support an abortion ban nationally, and would prefer abortion laws be left up to individual states. Most Republican voters are anti-abortion but do not want to ban the procedure completely. More than half of Republicans voters are opposed to a nationwide abortion ban and are in favor of state-level abortion restrictions, with exceptions for victims of rape or incest, and abortion to save the life of the mother, according to a CBS/YouGov poll.
As such, Republicans are not in total agreement about a total ban on abortion, though they are on agreement in leaving it up to individual state laws.
Meanwhile, Democratic politicians unanimously support making abortion legal nationwide; President Joe Biden is encouraging Congress to pass a bill to make abortion legal nationally, which Biden would then sign into law. But there are currently not enough Democrats in Congress to pass such a bill.
In the meantime, it is up to American citizens, if they support abortion rights, to vote in the 2022 midterm elections and vote for politicians who will protect abortion rights.
For example, on Nov. 8 2022, voters in California will be able to vote on a measure that will enshrine abortion rights in the state’s Constitution, making it a permanent right that cannot be removed by any California laws.