PolitiFact is assisting Democrat Doug Jones in his attempt to walk back his support for abortion until birth by claiming he cannot possibly be an advocate for “full-term abortion” because the term is “disconnected from reality.”
In a piece that mocks Kayla Moore – wife of Jones’s GOP pro-life opponent Roy Moore – for her statement at a rally that Jones is a supporter of “full-term abortion,” PolitiFact actually brought in “experts” who could not come up with what the phrase “full-term abortion” could possibly mean.
Running in largely pro-life Alabama, Jones has recently been attempting to walk back an interview he gave in September to MSNBC’s MTP Daily host Chuck Todd. The Democrat – who is running against Moore for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions – clearly told Todd he becomes a “right to lifer” only “once a baby is born.”
When Todd asked him if he would not support legislation that banned late-term abortions, Jones said:
I’m not in favor of anything that is going to infringe on a woman’s right and her freedom to choose. That’s just the position that I’ve had for many years. It’s a position I continue to have.
But when those people — I want to make sure that people understand that once a baby is born, I’m going to be there for that child. That’s where I become a right to lifer.
Planned Parenthood – which champions no restrictions whatsoever on abortion throughout pregnancy – is clearly supporting Jones, who says on his campaign website that he “stands with Planned Parenthood”:
In a medical animation video, former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino described third-trimester induction abortion, which is performed “at 25 weeks to term” – “term” meaning “full-term.”
“At this point the baby is almost fully developed and viable, meaning he or she could survive outside the womb if the mother were to go into labor prematurely,” Levatino explained. “Because the baby is so large and developed, this procedure takes three or four days to complete.”
During this form of abortion, the abortionist first injects digoxin into the baby to cause fatal cardiac arrest. Ultimately, the mother will deliver a stillborn baby.
Lisa Harris, however, a physician who studies abortion practice, law, policy, and ethics at the University of Michigan Medical School, told PolitiFact, “‘Full-term abortion’ is not a term I have heard before, and doesn’t exist as a matter of routine practice.”
“If there’s a reason someone needs to deliver early, then you induce labor, or you perform a C-section,” Harris continued, finally suggesting the term “full-term abortion” might be the case of third-trimester abortion – as seen in Levatino’s medical animation video.
“Third trimester abortions are incredibly infrequent,” Harris said. “My understanding is that these are difficult and unusual situations that generally involve a fetal anomaly that makes life untenable for the fetus.”
Actually, Harris’s “understanding” of the reasons why third-trimester abortions are performed is not supported by research.
A study published at the pro-reproductive rights Guttmacher Institute’s Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health found that women seeking both first-trimester and late-term abortions provided the same reasons for delaying their abortions.
Dr. Elizabeth Johnson, writing at the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), observed that, in the study, women seeking both first-trimester and late-term abortions reported with similar frequency “not knowing about the pregnancy,” “trouble deciding about the abortion,” and “disagreeing about the abortion with the man involved.”
“Among women in the late-term abortion group, the most commonly cited reason for delaying the procedure was ‘raising money for the procedure and related costs,’” Johnson said.
More often than women in the first-trimester group, women in the late-term abortion group also gave reasons such as “difficulty securing insurance coverage,” “difficulty getting to the abortion facility,” and “not knowing where to go for an abortion” as reasons for delaying the procedure.
For many years, abortion-rights advocates have asserted that abortions after 20 weeks are performed because of maternal health complications or lethal fetal anomalies discovered late in pregnancy.
However, wider data from both the medical literature and late-term abortion providers indicates that most late-term procedures are not performed for these reasons.
Previous survey studies of late-term abortion patients have confirmed that most late-term abortions are performed because of a delay in pregnancy diagnosis and for reasons similar to those given by first-trimester abortion patients: financial stressors, relationship problems, education concerns or parenting challenges.
Both NewsBusters and LifeSiteNews observed that Harris wrote an article published in Reproductive Health Matters in May 2008 in which she described performing a dismemberment abortion on an 18-week-old unborn baby while 18 weeks pregnant herself:
“I went about doing the procedure as usual,” Harris wrote. “I used electrical suction to remove the amniotic fluid, picked up my forceps and began to remove the fetus in parts, as I always did. I felt lucky that this one was already in the breech position – it would make grasping small parts (legs and arms) a little easier.”
With my first pass of the forceps, I grasped an extremity and began to pull it down. I could see a small foot hanging from the teeth of my forceps. With a quick tug, I separated the leg. Precisely at that moment, I felt a kick – a fluttery “thump, thump” in my own uterus. It was one of the first times I felt fetal movement. There was a leg and foot in my forceps, and a “thump, thump” in my abdomen. Instantly, tears were streaming from my eyes – without me – meaning my conscious brain – even being aware of what was going on. I felt as if my response had come entirely from my body, bypassing my usual cognitive processing completely. A message seemed to travel from my hand and my uterus to my tear ducts. It was an overwhelming feeling – a brutally visceral response – heartfelt and unmediated by my training or my feminist pro-choice politics. It was one of the more raw moments in my life. Doing second trimester abortions did not get easier after my pregnancy; in fact, dealing with little infant parts of my born baby only made dealing with dismembered fetal parts sadder.
With Harris as an “expert,” however, PolitiFact concluded, “The language of the abortion debate is imprecise, but the phrase “full-term abortion” had virtually no track-record before [Kayla] Moore said it. … Moore measured Jones against a term that is disconnected from reality. We rate this claim False.”
Jones’s position on abortion places him directly alongside failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who said unborn babies have no constitutional right to life. Like Jones – who may be finding it politically inconvenient to appear so extreme – Clinton also denied the existence of late-term dismemberment abortions during her final presidential debate last year.
When Republican nominee Donald Trump explained the gruesome procedure of late-term dismemberment abortion – during which the baby is torn limb by limb prior to being extracted from the uterus – Clinton responded, “That is not what happens,” referring to Trump’s description as “scare rhetoric.”
“Doug Jones, like Hillary Clinton, represents well the extreme position of the Democrat Party platform on abortion,” Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, told Breitbart News. “There’s not a baby in the womb they are willing to protect — or if there is, they aren’t willing to say so. The first thing we should require of public servants is that they can tell the difference between serving the public and killing the public.”
The United States is only one of seven nations – alongside North Korea and China – to allow elective abortion-on-demand after five months of pregnancy, a fact that was recently corroborated by the Washington Post.