Recently, the U.S. Senate failed to allow the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to proceed. Thus, the United States remains one of seven nations which allows for elective abortions past 20 weeks. While support for protecting pain-capable preborn children is high, pro-abortion senators promoted several myths or inaccuracies about late-term abortion.
Myth #1: Late-term abortion is done mainly because of fetal abnormalities.
Many pro-abortion senators dismissed the legislation as unnecessary, because of their misleading claim that late-term abortions are rare. They then argued against the bill, because of how it would affect women seeking abortions for fetal abnormalities.
Abnormalities do not make children less human. There are life-affirming perinatal hospices for parents who receive such a diagnosis. It is not accurate to claim a lack of “options,” as Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) did in mentioning how families with such diagnoses “deserve compassion and support for this situation.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) mentioned a couple who aborted their baby girl in the third-trimester due to brain development issues. About her baby, the mother said it was “her peace or her life” and she was “deeply grateful that I was able to give her the gift of peace,” which the couple “thought was best for their baby girl.”
With a third-trimester abortion, this baby girl faced a painful death, not a “gift of peace.”
Warren also mentioned another couple who aborted their child at 22-weeks for heart issues. The father “described their choice as an act of mercy.” A second-trimester abortion is not merciful.
Senator Maize Hirono (D-Hawaii) mentioned a woman who believed her late-term abortion made her “compassionate.” Her decision involved how “we sacrifice our own dreams so our children don’t have to suffer.” It was this baby boy who suffered from the late-term abortion, however.
Myth #2: Life-affirming pregnancy management options constitute an abortion.
It is dangerous to equate life-affirming pregnancy management options with abortion. The child may die, but, unlike an abortion, which is committed to kill that child, this is an unintended and unfortunate consequence. This false equation has been peddled before, but it is not an abortion.
Sen. Hirono claimed a woman in Texas was denied an abortion at 22 weeks when her water broke, because doctors did not counsel her about an “immediate delivery.” When a woman’s water broke in Hawaii at 22 weeks, Hirono described her as having had an abortion. But while the child did not survive, the delivery performed was not an abortion.
Sen. Feinstein lamented what she feared would be the inability for women to obtain treatment for a miscarriage. At 20 weeks, a woman is considered as having had a stillbirth, not a miscarriage. Nevertheless, Feinstein complained:
If a woman’s miscarriage hasn’t completed, her health could rapidly deteriorate from fever and infection. If this bill passes and a woman goes to a hospital, no doctor could help her, because under this legislation, there is no exception to protecting women’s health.
If a woman were at risk in such a way, the child would of course receive medical attention, as is standard in the case of a miscarriage or stillbirth.
Myth #3: By undermining Roe v. Wade, this legislation would have women turning to back alley abortions.
The warning of turning to back-alley abortion rears its ugly head each time abortion is discussed. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) complained the Senate was “still voting on whether we should turn back the clock and put women’s lives at risk.”
Sen. Warren claimed that before Roe:
Desperate women turned to back-alley butchers or tried the procedure on their own, using coat hangers or drinking turpentine. Some were lucky but some weren’t. So many women bled to death, some died of infection, some were poisoned, and they all went through hell.
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) estimated 1.2 million women annually resorted to “illegal abortions typically performed in unsanitary conditions by unlicensed practitioners and often resulting in infection, hemorrhage, and even death.”
The truth is that most abortions before Roe were committed by doctors, Planned Parenthood acknowledged. The late Dr. Bernard Nathanson, co-founder of NARAL, who committed abortions before becoming pro-life, admitted death statistics were exaggerated to push for support and legalization.
These senators believe that abortions are safer because of the Supreme Court decision. “Abortions are safer than getting your tonsils out,” according to Warren.
Abortion is legal today, but it is not safe, and is still committed in “unsanitary conditions.” It is often committed at “unlicensed” facilities, and women still get infections or hemorrhage. Late-term abortion carries with it even more risks, including death.
Myth #4: This legislation is extreme, cruel, partisan, and unpopular.
Perhaps the most common theme was in pro-abortion senators miscategorizing the bill. Several senators called the bill “extreme” multiple times. They also saw the bill as “cruel.” To them, even people who are against abortion should be against this legislation. According to Sen. Warren, “Whatever you believe about abortion generally, this legislation is dangerous and cruel.”
The blame was, of course, on Republicans, with Murray claiming the bill was “ideological.” Warren said voting on the bill wasn’t “about policy, it is about political theater” because “politicians want to score political points at the expense of women and their families.”
All these senators failed to acknowledge how the bill enjoyed bipartisan support, including from three Democrats in the Senate.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal was particularly absurd:
There should be nothing partisan for us about this decision. I am tempted to call this 20-week abortion ban a Republican proposal, but when I think of the Republicans I know… there’s nothing Republican about this proposal. There’s nothing partisan about a proposal that seeks to interfere in this fundamental right of privacy. It is an extremist right-wing proposal.
He went on to claim the bill was “another excuse for right-wing dogma and ideology out of touch with America to seek to put opponents at a political disadvantage.” Without any basis, Blumenthal claimed “the American public disagrees strongly with this potential law.”
Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) called this out in his floor speech, noting numerous polls showing support for the bill:
Contrary to those bizarre claims that were made on the floor a couple of times over the last hour, a hefty majority — it is not close — of Americans support this legislation, including a supermajority of women, including most young people, including most independents, and now ticking up just shy of half of all Democrats. This should not be a partisan issue, and in the future it won’t, because more and more people are looking at these images and it’s not going to be a partisan issue. It’s going to be a bipartisan issue that you have to tell the truth that those pictures are pictures of babies and they’re alive and deserve our protection.
It is late-term abortion which is “cruel” and permissive laws which are “extreme.” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) put it simply but eloquently. “Can you only imagine the pain you feel from an abortion? There’s a reason there’s only seven countries in the world that allow this,” he said. “The question for America is do we want to stay in this club or do we want to get out? I want out.”
Myth #5: Voting to protect pain-capable preborn babies is a waste of time.
Because of Roe, many pro-abortion senators act as if no pro-life legislation should ever be considered. Many pro-abortion senators expressed that voting to protect babies is a waste of “precious” and “valuable” time. They would rather focus on other topics, such as immigration. Graham addressed that as well:
As to this debate, I don’t think it’s a waste of time. I want to do two things… I can talk about two things at once… I think it’s odd that somehow you can do one without the other… It also makes sense to me that we can talk about this issue at the same time that we, as a nation, will rise to the occasion and withdraw from a club where there’s only six other nations on the planet who allow a baby to be aborted in the fifth month of pregnancy at a time when that child can feel excruciating pain…
Are these babies not “precious” or “valuable?” We know that they are. Hopefully enough of the Senate soon knows, so that the president may sign such commonsense legislation into law, to reflect our populace’s pro-life values.