Two prominent news outlets are misleading readers about Vice President Mike Pence’s comments on abortion Wednesday during the vice presidential debate in Utah.
In their “fact checks,” both CNN and NBC News claimed Pence was wrong when he said, “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris support taxpayer funding of abortion all the way up to the moment of birth, late-term abortion.”
CNN accused Pence of “echo[ing] some of President Donald Trump’s most common falsehoods and misleading statements.”
While the news outlets admitted that Pence was right about the taxpayer funding for abortion part, they claimed he was wrong about Biden and Harris supporting late-term abortions up to birth.
According to CNN, “… ‘late-term’ is not a medical term, and no candidate in either political party supports abortion ‘up to the moment of birth.’ Asked last month about the Democratic nominee’s stance on abortion and Pence’s frequent ‘up to birth’ claim, a Biden campaign official told CNN that Biden supports Roe v. Wade …”
What the CNN fact check omitted, however, is that Roe v. Wade allows abortions for basically any reason through all nine months of pregnancy. Because of Roe, the United States is only one of seven countries in the world that allows elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy – a fact confirmed in 2017 by the liberal Washington Post.
Roe and subsequent Supreme Court rulings prohibit states from passing laws that protect unborn babies prior to viability. However, states are not under any obligation to protect unborn babies after viability either, and some – including Colorado and New Mexico – allow abortions for any reason up to birth.
CNN went on to claim that late-term abortions “are exceptionally rare” and many are done “because of a fetal condition that can’t be treated or in cases of maternal health endangerment.” Similarly, NBC noted that “just 1.2 percent occur after 21 weeks of gestation, according to the latest data.”
But that “1.2 percent” statistic does not accurately depict the situation. In the fact checkers’ minds, it supposedly proves that late-term abortions on viable babies (who could be born alive and survive, aka abortions up to birth) are rare, but 1 percent of 862,320 abortions is still more than 8,000 dead babies every single year, based on statistics from the Guttmacher Institute.
There also is evidence that late-term abortions on viable, healthy unborn babies who have healthy mothers are happening.
Diana Greene Foster, a well-known researcher and abortion activist at the University of California San Francisco, wrote in 2013: “… data suggest that most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment. Indeed, we know very little about women who seek later abortions.”
Ron Fitzsimmons, the former executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, made a startling admission about late-term abortions as well in 1997. He told the New York Times that he had lied to U.S. Congress when he said late-term abortions are rare. Fitzsimmons said late-term abortions are more common than abortion activists admit, and many are on healthy mothers carrying healthy unborn babies.
Abortionist Martin Haskell, who is credited with inventing the partial-birth abortion procedure, also said in a 1993 interview with American Medical News: “I’ll be quite frank: most of my abortions are elective in that 20-24 week range…. In my particular case, probably 20% are for genetic reasons. And the other 80% are purely elective.”
Stories of babies who survived abortions add to the evidence that viable, late-term unborn babies are sometimes aborted and doctors agree to do it. And doctors and nurses, infamously including Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, have admitted that, if late-term babies are born alive, they may be left to die without medical treatment.
Biden has said he wants to codify Roe v. Wade into federal law, and the Democratic Party platform supports abortions without limits, too. Recently, Biden said he supports the so-called right to abort an unborn baby “under any circumstances.” He also wants to force taxpayers to pay for them. Harris, his vice presidential running mate, even voted against a bill that would have protected newborn babies from infanticide.
In truth, it is the fact checkers who are misleading the American people about how extreme the Democratic candidates are on abortion.