Politicians are notorious for avoiding direct answers about their most controversial positions — ones that have the backing of big-money special interest groups but not of most Americans.
That’s where fact checkers are supposed to come in and clarify the matter. But, especially when it comes to support for abortion, it’s where they often fail.
This week, the liberal fact checker Snopes gave LifeNews.com and other pro-life news outlets a “mixed” rating on reports exposing Kamala Harris’s support for abortions up to birth.
“Given Harris’ support for an individual’s right to choose when to terminate a pregnancy, combined with her backing legislation that seeks to prevent restrictions on post-viability abortions, it is possible that she supports abortion at any time before birth,” the fact checker admitted.
But because Harris, Joe Biden’s vice presidential running mate, never has “explicitly stated” that she supports abortions up to birth, Snopes claimed LifeNews’s report is only partially true.
Harris’s actions in the U.S. Senate, however, indicate that she does support abortions up to birth. Her voting record includes rejecting a bill to protect newborns who survive abortions from infanticide and another to ban abortions after 20 weeks when strong scientific evidence indicates unborn babies can feel pain.
Responding to the 20-week bill in 2018, Harris wrote on Twitter: “We must keep fighting to defend and expand on the progress made for women’s rights and reproductive health, not pass a 20-week abortion ban.”
She also was a co-sponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act. Nicknamed the “Abortion Without Limits Until Birth Act” by pro-life groups, the bill would have invalidated nearly all state and federal abortion regulations, including waiting periods, informed consent requirements, bans on late-term abortions and sex-selection abortions and more.
The bill states: “Since 1973, the Supreme Court repeatedly has recognized the constitutional right of a woman to decide to terminate her pregnancy before fetal viability, and to terminate her pregnancy after fetal viability where it is necessary, in the good-faith medical judgment of the treating health care professional, for the preservation of her life or health.”
Snopes emphasized the “preservation of her life or health” language to suggest that Harris may not support unlimited abortions up to birth, but that claim also is problematic. For decades, legal experts, pro-life advocates and even some abortionists themselves have pointed out that the “health” exception for late-term abortions is so broad that basically anything qualifies. Some abortionists even consider pregnancy itself to be enough of a “health” reason to abort an unborn baby.
Snopes also claimed LifeNews and other outlets also are “misleading” readers by emphasizing Harris’s support for late-term abortions.
First, it argued that there is “no precise medical or legal definition” for late-term, though generally it’s considered to be around the 21st to 24th week of pregnancy. Then, it added that late-term abortions are “rare” and referred to a commonly cited statistic about late-term abortions being just 1 percent of all abortions in the U.S. One percent is about 8,000 viable, late-term unborn babies every year, but liberal fact checkers almost never mention the actual number.
Neither point refutes what LifeNews reported. Even if only five viable, late-term unborn babies were aborted every year, it does not change the fact that Harris has opposed legislation to protect their lives.
Back in 2019, The Daily Caller asked Harris “if there was a point at which [abortion] would be considered immoral.” Avoiding a direct answer, she responded: “I think it’s up to a woman to make that decision, and I will always stand by that. I think she needs to make that decision with her doctor, with her priest, with her spouse. I would leave that decision up to them.”
Harris probably did not answer directly because she knows that most Americans oppose late-term abortions. A 2019 Harvard CAPS/Harris poll found that just 6% of Americans said abortions should be allowed up until the birth of the child, while only 8% said they should be permitted up to the third trimester. Similarly, a Gallup poll released in June found that just 29 percent of Americans believe abortions should be legal in all circumstances.
Her pro-abortion stance is extreme and out of touch with most Americans, but liberal news outlets seem to be hiding the fact when they should be exposing it.
LifeNews.com has refuted Snopes’ “fact checks” numerous times, including: