Earlier this week, Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota) voted to filibuster a bill that would ban late-term abortion even though she previously said late-term abortion should be illegal in most circumstances. In 2012, she said, “I do not support public funding of abortions, and believe that late term abortions should be illegal except when necessary to save the life of the mother.”
John McCormack from The Weekly Standard reached out to Sen. Heitkamp after the Senate Democrats’ policy luncheon yesterday but she refused to answer any of his questions about her vote. Instead, she advised him to call her office and said they could set up an interview.
Here’s how the conversation went between McCormack of TWS and Heitkamp:
THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Senator in 2012 you said you thought that late-term abortion should be illegal except to save the life of the mother–
Heitkamp: Where are you from?
TWS: The Weekly Standard magazine, and you–
Heitkamp: Why don’t you call the office?
TWS: Is there a reason you voted against today’s bill?
Heitkamp: Why don’t you call the office and we’ll set up an interview.
TWS: Have you changed your mind about the issue, senator?
However, Heitkamp avoided an interview and her communications director Abigal McDonough sent McCormack an email that read: “Senator Heitkamp believes reproductive decisions should be left to a woman, her family, and her doctor, and it isn’t up to the government to determine what that timeline should be. She also supports the Hyde amendment and a state’s right to mandate parental consent for minors or restrict partial birth abortions, except when medically necessary to protect the life of the woman.”
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The president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, Marjorie Dannenfelse, said the following about Sen. Heitkamp’s vote: “Polls show that Americans – regardless of gender, age, or political party – are unified against late-term abortion more than halfway through pregnancy, when the unborn child can feel excruciating pain. In North Dakota, 63 percent of Democrats and 71 percent of women support the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.”
She added, “This compassionate, common sense measure should have been a no-brainer for Sen. Heitkamp, who previously opposed late-term abortion and partial birth abortion. Her refusal to stand up for the helpless children whose bodies are brutally ripped apart during abortion – and vivisected for their organs – is a sad sign she has sold out to Planned Parenthood and the abortion lobby. Americans support removing the United States from the list of only seven nations to allow brutal abortion after 5 months. Senator Heitkamp, and other Democratic leaders, are moving against growing public opinion – and at their own political peril.”
As LifeNews previously reported, on September 1st, Sen. Heitkamp’s office said in a statement the following about the federal 20-week ban: “Senator Heitkamp believes reproductive decisions should be left to a woman, her family, and her doctor, and it isn’t up to the government to determine what that timeline should be.” Also, in early August, Senate Democrats defeated legislation that would de-fund Planned Parenthood and Sen. Heitkamp was one of the Senators who voted against the bill.
Currently, North Dakota has a law on the books banning late-term abortion in the state; and a 2013 poll showed that the majority of women in America support such legislation. Then, in 2014, a Washington Post poll revealed that 64 percent supported the ban while only 28 percent opposed.
Surprisingly, even the liberal Huffington Post poll revealed the same, with 59 percent of people supporting the ban and 30 percent opposed it. They said, “By a margin of 59 percent to 30 percent, respondents to the new poll said they would favor a federal law banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.”
Ultimately, it is unlikely that Sen. Heitkamp’s support for late abortion and public funding of abortion will be applauded considering the Planned Parenthood videos exposing their organ harvesting business and scandalous practice of delivering “full-intact” specimen during late-abortions.