Another fact checker disputed Vice President Mike Pence’s comments about abortion Wednesday during the vice presidential debate in Utah.
First CNN and NBC News and now Politifact are claiming that Pence mislead Americans 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.”
While all of 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 Politifact, “Biden and Harris have not said they support abortion ‘up to the moment of birth’”; therefore, it is false to claim that they do.
It noted that the Democrat presidential candidates do support Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that forced states to legalize abortion on demand, but it argued that their position does not amount to supporting abortions “up to the moment of birth.”
However, Politifact also mentioned that even legal experts have conflicting opinions about the Supreme Court’s abortion decisions, and many Americans, including politicians, do not fully understand their complexities.
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It quoted one legal expert, Teresa Stanton Collett, a law professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, who said Pence’s description is fair.
According to the report:
Doe vs. Bolton [a companion case to Roe] allows doctors to consider a wide range of factors when determining whether an abortion is for health reasons, [Collett] said. A doctor may make a decision “in the light of all factors physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age relevant to the well-being of the patient,” that case said.
“Because it was a companion case and directly referenced in Roe vs. Wade, I believe it is fair to say that it supports abortion up to the moment of birth, given the breadth of the health exception,” Collett said.
Politifact also mentioned that Harris co-sponsored a bill that would prevent states from passing pro-life legislation by requiring that abortions be provided “free from medically unnecessary restrictions and bans,” and Harris recently opposed a bill to ban late-term abortions.
However, Politifact still rated Pence’s comment “false.”
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. And Biden on Monday said he wanted Roe, and those abortion up to birth provisions, made the “law of the land.”
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.
In the last two years, several states have approved new legislation making abortions legal up to the moment of birth. The state of New York led the way and even infamously cheered passage of the bill for unlimited abortions and lit up One World Tower pink to literally cheer baby-killing. Other states like Illinois, New Mexico, Vermont and Massachusetts followed suit — either passing or attempting to pass laws overturning every single pro-life law in the state and implementing unfettered access to abortion any time, for any reason and at taxpayer expense. Joe Biden has never expressed any opposition to any of those abortions-up-to-birth laws despite the massive public attention they received.
Biden has also said he supports “codifying” Roe — another code word for abortions up to birth.
Writing at The Federalist, Sarah St. Onge explored their radical idea further and explains how it really does mean abortions up to birth for any reason:
Roe determines how states are permitted to limit abortion, based on the trimester of pregnancy. In the third trimester, a state is permitted to outlaw all abortions except when the health of the mother is involved. This is where Doe comes in. Doe defines what constitutes health.
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In Doe, the Supreme Court clarifies health as anything “physical, emotional, psychological, familial, [or related to] the woman’s age, relevant to the wellbeing of the patient.” Pro-abortion advocates don’t want you to focus on Doe, because then you’d understand what pro-life advocates mean when they reference “abortion until birth.”
Codifying Roe means women will have access to abortion if a doctor determines their health is threatened by their financial situation (97 percent of all abortions are currently performed due to the financial status of the woman involved) or their age, regardless of any physically life-threatening situation. It also means with the current push to characterize pregnancy in general as life-threatening to women, pregnancy itself will eventually be considered sufficient reason to gain access to abortion throughout all three trimesters.
Within the space of a year after New York enacted the Reproductive Health Act, some local pro-life advocates began noticing women successfully accessing abortions post-viability, meaning after the point the baby’s life could be saved in a NICU. I wrote about one such instance I was personally involved in, here. If Roe is indeed codified, to suppose expanded access won’t happen everywhere is foolish.
This is where Biden and Harris come in — taking New York’s idea and making it national, putting abortion on demand in every state nationwide.
During the Democrat presidential primaries, Kamala Harris, who is now Democrats’ vice presidential candidate, elaborated on a frightening vision for a country where Roe is the law of the land. Her plan involves creating a “Reproductive Rights Act,” which would require states that have previously been seen as hostile to abortion access to have Department of Justice approval for any laws restricting abortion.
Modeled after the Voting Rights Act, Harris’s proposal positions abortion as a civil rights issue. Yet while the Voting Rights Act was created to allow the federal government to enforce provisions detailed in the 15th amendment, there is no right to an abortion in the U.S. Constitution.
Unlike past elections, however, we potentially face a major shift in expanding abortion access. Never before has a candidate openly stated he or she will essentially bypass the constitutional amendment process to grant one group of people (women) the right to harm another group of people (the unborn) and use the Department of Justice to ensure no one stands in the way.
Groups like Planned Parenthood and NARAL already have the mechanisms in place to begin opening clinics in states that have been made virtually abortion-free due to the hard work of pro-life voters and advocates. With leftist politicians guiding the Department of Justice decision-making process regarding abortion laws, we are looking at a confluence of political influence that will have the power to reverse virtually all pro-life gains of the last 40 years with the stroke of a pen.
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 mainstream media that is misleading the American people about how extreme the Democratic candidates are on abortion.