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The holes in pro-abortion Sen. Durbin’s evasive answer about late-term abortion carefully exposed

by | Mar 27, 2024

By Dave Andrusko

Bravo and hats off to Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review Online for nicely disassembling pro-abortion Sen. Dick  Durbin’s hugely misleading insistence “that abortions late in pregnancy, while a small proportion of all abortions, are vitally needed.” Ponnuru begins by quoting the senior senator from Illinois:

The information I’m reading from comes from the Center for Disease Control. Why women need access to abortion late in pregnancy: maternal health endangerment; diagnosis of severe fetal abnormality which didn’t show up or develop until late in the pregnancy; restrictive state laws that made it difficult for a woman to get an abortion earlier in pregnancy.

These are standard defenses of the “need” to abort huge unborn babies, which Ponnuru patiently rebuts. In writing Durbin’s office,

“I pointed out, and the CDC confirmed, that the CDC does not make any such claims, and that the claims were dubious. I sent Senator Durbin’s office a query about his sources on Thursday. Yesterday, an aide emailed to say that the source for Durbin’s claims about the reasons for abortions late in pregnancy was not the CDC. Rather, he relied on the Kaiser Family Foundation and a study by medical sociologist Katrina Kimport.”

So, no harm, no foul, right? No.

KFF, however, cites several reasons for abortions after 20 weeks beyond those that Durbin presented as an exhaustive list: for example, difficulty coming up with the money for an abortion and not being aware of the pregnancy. Kimport’s study of third-trimester abortion also lists financial difficulties, lack of awareness of the pregnancy, and other reasons that Durbin did not list.

What does Ponnuru conclude?

Senator Durbin’s remarks at the hearing inaccurately characterized the available evidence and wrongly attributed that misinformation to the CDC. But Durbin deserves some limited credit, since many advocates of legal abortion throughout pregnancy are even further off base. As I noted in my initial post about the hearing, Senator Peter Welch (D., Vt.) claimed there that “late-term abortions are very rare, and it’s almost always — really probably always — where there’s a medical emergency and the life of the woman is imperiled.” That’s not true, as even Senator Durbin knows.

Pinning down pro-abortionists is never easy, especially when the topic is late-term abortions, but Ponnuru is to be congratulated for his brief, easy-to-understand critique.

Categories: Abortion