CLAIM: Disgraced former senator and Saturday Night Live star Al Franken (D) claimed in a social media post during Wednesday’s GOP presidential debate that “no one is trying to allow abortion right up to birth” — an attempt to rebuke Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who said during the broadcast that Democrats want “to allow abortion all the way up to the moment of birth.”
VERDICT: FALSE. Prominent Democrats, including Biden Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and former Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam have pushed for abortion until the moment of birth. Some Democrat-run states have no limits on abortion, including Colorado and Oregon.
Al Franken appeared to be parroting former Biden flack and current MSNBC host Jen Psaki, who made an identical assertion during Wednesday’s debate in a post on “X,” or Twitter. He also called DeSantis an “asshole.”
No one is trying to allow abortions right up to birth. You asshole, DeSantis. #GOPDebate
— Al Franken (@alfranken) August 24, 2023
HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra voted during his tenure in the House of Representatives in 2013 and 2015 against legislation that would ban abortion at five months into pregnancy. In 2015, he voted against the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, which aimed to protect children born alive during an abortion.
Former Virginia Gov. Northam gave a now-infamous interview in 2019 during which he responded to a question about women requesting an abortion at the moment of childbirth.
If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.
Northam later said he had “no regrets” about his comment.
Al Franken resigned from the U.S. Senate in disgrace in 2017 following multiple accusations of sexual misconduct. At the time, he said, “some things aren’t true, while others I remember very differently.”