Both state and federal Republican lawmakers are trying to push one of the biggest and most harmful myths about abortion ahead of the 2020 presidential election: that the procedures are being conducted after or while a baby is being born.
Anti-abortion advocates hope that their appeal to one of the most controversial hypothetical abortion scenarios will mobilize conservative voters and potentially give President Trump more time and support to dismantle the historic Roe v. Wade decision, The Los Angeles Times reports.
House Republicans on Capitol Hill have tried for weeks to call a vote on a proposal to require doctors give care to a baby born during an an abortion procedure attempt. The bill intends to bring attention to late-pregnancy abortions.
But Democrats and abortion advocates call the bill a political maneuver and point out that existing laws already ensure that all babies are given medical care. They also argue that cases in which babies are born during an abortion procedure are extremely rare.
But anti-abortion groups are making it hard politically for moderate Democrats to oppose the measure. The Family Research Council has bought online advertisements in the congressional district belonging to seven moderate Democrats to highlight their opposition to the effort. Another anti-abortion organization, Susan B. Anthony List, plans to do the same this week.
State legislatures have joined in on the effort to pass similar and redundant "infanticide" bills. Both North Carolina and Montana state legislatures passed similar bills on Tuesday. Democrat North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper vetoed the bill and argued that it serves to criminalize healthcare professionals "for a practice that simply does not exist." Democrat Montana Governor Steve Bullock also believes the proposal is “more about politicizing women’s health than it is about public policy.”
89 percent of abortions are performed in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and only about one percent occur after the 21 week mark, according to a Guttmacher Institute report.