Yet another debate on television talk show “The View” has resulted in falsehoods being peddled about abortion. The panel was discussing the current crop of Democratic presidential candidates, and Republican Meghan McCain (daughter of the late Sen. John McCain) offered the opinion that she felt they were all too extreme for her, largely due to abortion. Noting that virtually every candidate supports late-term abortion, McCain was quickly interrupted by moderator Whoopi Goldberg, who insisted that there is “no such thing” as late-term abortion.
“I just want to say, there’s no such thing as late-term abortion. There is no such thing,” Goldberg announced as the audience applauded. She continued, “You cannot do abortions after a certain period of time, unless there is some sort of danger.”
As McCain tried to respond, Goldberg instead spoke over her, adding, “I just wanted to clear that up, because people keep saying ‘late-term abortions,’ and it’s not correct. It does not happen.”
This is a common pro-abortion talking point, to deny that late-term abortions happen, and to claim that if they do, they are only for reasons of medical necessity. This is blatantly false; even according to pro-abortion sources, the facts do not bear this rhetoric out.
According to a 1988 Guttmacher study, only 2% of women sought late-term abortions because of a health problem with the baby. A 2013 study, also published by the Guttmacher Institute, also said, “data suggest that most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.” Pro-abortion researcher Diana Greene Foster likewise stated, according to a report from the Congressional Research Service, that abortions for fetal abnormalities “make up a small minority of later abortion.” And a 2010 paper from Julia Steinberg, of the pro-abortion Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, said, “Research suggests that the overwhelming majority of women having later abortions do so for reasons other than fetal anomaly (Drey et al., 2006; Finer et al., 2005, 2006; Foster et al., 2008).”
It’s also a myth to claim that late-term abortions happen due to a health problem with the mother; in case of a health emergency, like pre-eclampsia, for example, the safest course of action is an induction or an emergency c-section. The baby may not survive, but this is not the intentional destruction of a human being; an emergency procedure takes only a matter of minutes or hours, whereas a late-term abortion takes multiple days. When a woman’s life is truly at immediate risk, doctors don’t send her to a hotel for days while taking their time on a late-term abortion.
As for late-term abortions being rare or non-existent? This is not accurate, either. As Live Action News recently explained, just 20% of abortionists in the United States commit abortions past 20 weeks. The CDC’s Abortion Surveillance Report also reported that in 2015 — the most recent year for which data is available — 1.3% of all abortions committed were after 21 weeks of pregnancy, equaling over 8,000 abortions. Every state does not report their abortion information to the CDC, though, and the Guttmacher Institute has the estimate as being significantly higher, possibly around 12,000.
It is true to acknowledge that most abortions take place in the first trimester. But to claim that late-term abortions never happen, or that they only do due to a health issue or because of fetal abnormality is a lie. And if there is a need to lie about abortion, then what does that say about the strength of the pro-abortion position?
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