Snopes let its left-wing bias get in the way of the truth again this week when it “fact checked” reports about a radical new pro-abortion law in New York.
The so-called Reproductive Health Act goes beyond Roe v. Wade, allowing unborn babies to be aborted even when the U.S. Supreme Court has said states may restrict abortions. The law’s broad language will allow late-term abortions on viable, healthy unborn babies for basically any reason up to birth.
Snopes contested the fact and criticized LifeNews.com for describing the law in those terms.
“The law does not allow for unrestricted abortion up through the normal term of pregnancy,” Snopes argued, pointing to language in the new law that appears to limit late-term abortions.
The enactment of the RHA was characterized by some outlets, such as the pro-life website LifeNews as “a radical pro-abortion bill that would allow unborn babies to be aborted for basically any reason up to birth.”
In fact, the new law primarily allows for abortions up to the 24th week of pregnancy without restriction, and after the 24th week under certain conditions.
It cited a report explaining how the law allows abortions after 24 weeks only in cases where a woman’s life or health is threatened.
Later, Snopes continued:
The new law still imposes some restrictions on when late-term abortions can be performed, even as it loosens others:
“A health care practitioner licensed, certified, or authorized under title eight of the education law, acting within his or her lawful scope of practice, may perform an abortion when, according to the practitioner’s reasonable and good faith professional judgment based on the facts of the patient’s case: the patient is within twenty-four weeks from the commencement of pregnancy, or there is an absence of fetal viability, or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.”
The New York law does appear to restrict late-term abortions, but it adds a broad “health” exception for abortions after 24 weeks. It also redefines a “person” as “a human being who has been born and is alive,” and describes abortion as a “fundamental right.”
Snopes did not delve into the legal meaning of the language in the law, and that is key.
“Health” exceptions for abortion, according to the U.S. Supreme Court in Doe v. Bolton, cover basically any situation. In Doe, the companion case to Roe v. Wade, the court ruled that “all factors – physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age – relevant to the wellbeing of the patient” may be considered as “health” exceptions for late-term abortions.
Snopes did not provide any evidence to contest this. It did not even mention the court definition to its readers. Nor did it link to LifeNews.com reports or include us in its list of references so people could determine the truth for themselves.
If most Americans knew how radically pro-abortion the new law is, polls indicate they would not support it.
According to a national poll conducted by Marist University, three in four Americans (75 percent) say abortion should be limited to – at most – the first three months of pregnancy. This includes most Republicans (92 percent), Independents (78 percent) and Democrats (60 percent). It also includes more than six in 10 (61 percent) who identify as “pro-choice” on abortion. Similarly, a May 2018 Gallup poll found that 53 percent of Americans oppose all or most abortions.