PolitiFact Spins For Democrats On Late-Term Abortion

There are three things certain in life: death, taxes, and self-styled fact-checkers defending Democrats on late-term abortion. The latest example came on Friday from D.L. Davis, who gave Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson a “false” label for claiming “Every Senate Democrat has voted to support unlimited abortions up to the moment of birth.”

Johnson’s office cited the Democrats’ 2022 Women’s Health Protection Act and Davis took exception to the use of the word “every,” writing “[Sen. Joe] Manchin, R-W.Va. [sic], voted no along with Republican senators on the measure. The vote was 49 Yes and 51 No.”

It’s ironic that Davis tried to shame Johnson for saying “every” Democrat voted for it when the truth is everyone, but one did and Davis and his editors couldn’t even get Manchin’s party letter label correct.

Regardless, Davis also cited Johnson’s office for claiming “the measure ‘would enshrine abortion into law up until the moment of birth and block state laws with protections against late-term abortions.’”

Davis simply replied, “That’s wrong.” He also added, “On the contrary, the measure — which has not become law — protects the right to an abortion up until the point of fetal viability, which is roughly reached at 24 weeks of pregnancy.”

He further writes, “After that point, the legislation protects the right to abortion only “when, in the good-faith medical judgment of the treating health care provider, continuation of the pregnancy would pose a risk to the pregnant patient’s life or health,” according to the bill’s text.”

If one were to try to be as neutral as possible, as all good fact-checkers should, Davis could reasonably say the bill did not mandate the reversal of state laws banning late-term abortions, but to say the bill does not protect “abortion into law up until the moment of birth” is also wrong.

The bill allows blue states to permit it, which some do. For Davis, such concerns are not important, “‘Abortion ‘up to the moment of birth’ simply doesn’t happen.’ [Washington Sen. Patty] Murray said in an email to PolitiFact Wisconsin. ‘Abortions later in pregnancy are extraordinarily rare and occur essentially only when a pregnancy is nonviable and the mother risks severe injury or death by remaining pregnant.’”

Talking points about late-term abortion being rare do not refute claims that a bill permits it. If late-term abortions are so rare and only done for legitimate medical reasons, why is it so hard for national Democrats to write in a provision to their bills banning elective abortions after viability?

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