WASHINGTON (TND) — As the midterms approach, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is facing backlash over his proposed new abortion ban.
Graham’s bill is the first national abortion ban introduced since the Roe v. Wade decision and it would ban abortions after 15 weeks.
The National Desk’s Fact Check Team is taking a closer look at the legislation and how much support it has.
The bill is less restrictive than laws we’ve seen in states like Texas and Georgia and it includes exceptions for rape, incest or a threat to the mother’s life but not for non-life-threatening emergencies or fetal abnormalities. Violations would be punishable by up to five years in prison.
According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most abortions — almost 93% — were performed at 13 weeks or less. Around 6% were performed between 14 and 20 weeks and less than 1% were at 21 weeks or more.
A 15-week ban would come early in the second trimester, before common screenings for certain health conditions and several weeks before a fetus is considered viable, which is at around 24 weeks.
The 15-week and 20-week abortion bans would have a significant impact on patients with fetal anomalies, which are often detected at a 20-week anatomy scan.
Abortion rights advocates also point out that some patients can’t get abortions sooner because of things like delayed access to care or not knowing their pregnant.
Among lawmakers, Graham’s proposal is pretty unpopular. Even though the GOP has traditionally supported limiting abortions, there is a growing list of Republicans that oppose the bill.
Republican South Dakota Sen. Mike Rounds is the latest to speak out against it, saying abortion should be left up to the states and there are at least 13 other Republicans that have signaled they could vote against it like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Rep. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rep. Susan Collins of Maine and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.
Even if Republicans regain control of the Senate in November, it’s unlikely to go through because the bill would need 60 votes to pass and doesn’t have support from all Senate Republicans.
When it comes to voters, a recent poll from Morning Consult shows that registered voters are almost evenly split on whether they would support the ban.
Fifty-one percent of the respondents say they would support congress passing a 15-week abortion ban with exceptions for rape, incest and a risk to the mother’s life — which Graham’s bill has — while 49% oppose it.
It is split among party lines. Republicans were more likely to support the bill, with 70% saying they’d support it. Meanwhile, only 38% of Democrats and 45% of independents said they’d support it.
Additionally, men were way more likely to back the federal restrictions, with 55% supporting it compared to 48% of women.
Overall, the ban has more support among voters than it does lawmakers but that support isn’t overwhelming.