Trump Pushes Fear of Non-Existent Partial Birth Abortions

In the final presidential debate, Donald Trump said he supports the federal ban on “partial-birth” abortion because, under the procedure:

“You can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month, on the final day.”

He added that this can happen “as late as one or two or three or four days prior to birth.”

(h/t NPR)


However this does not happen.

Partial birth abortions is a non-medical term the pro-life lobby National Right to Life Committee made up in the ’90s for a procedure that was outlawed in 2003 by the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, signed by President George W. Bush.

The law banned the procedure, imposing a fine and imprisonment for any physician who “knowingly performs a partial-birth abortion and thereby kills a human fetus.” The U.S. Supreme Court upheld it in 2007.

Trump’s erroneous claim garnered widespread criticism, as medical professionals and others explained that there is no such thing as an “abortion” at nine months.

Some 91 percent of abortions take place in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Only 1.3 percent of abortions happen at or after 21 weeks after conception. Of those, the vast majority happen before 24 weeks. Under the current federal ban, a dilation and extraction (D&X), or intact dilation and evacuation (D&E) — what opponents call “partial-birth” abortion — is still allowed if the life of the mother is at stake, which his guaranteed under Row vs. Wade. Still, very few providers perform it and the exact number of procedures is not known, but it’s believed to be small.

That’s because, along with the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, 19 states have their own such bans, while 43 states impose some kind of restriction on abortions later in pregnancy.

Understand that abortion is a very serious and polarizing issue to many people, but if we are to have an equally serious discussion and debate then we should be arguing the facts and realities instead of fear-based allegations, otherwise we dishonor the lives and decisions of everyone involved.


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