PolitiFact slammed Roy Moore’s wife Kayla Moore as “False” for saying at a rally that Alabama’s Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones supports “full-term abortion.” They concluded “Moore measured Jones against a term that is disconnected from reality.”
During his campaign, Jones has stood with Planned Parenthood, the nation’s loudest and largest advocate of abortion on demand. On September 23, Jones posted a photo on Instagram with the caption: “Proud to be with Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels as he accepts a Champion of Women's Health Award from Planned Parenthood #WePersist”.
PolitiFact reproduced what Jones said to Chuck Todd on MSNBC's MTP Daily on September 27:
TODD: What are the limitations that you believe should be in the law when it comes to an abortion?
JONES: I am a firm believer that a woman should have the freedom to choose what happens to her own body. And I’m going to stand up for that, and I’m going to make sure that continues to happen. I want to make sure that as we go forward, people have access to contraception, they have access to the abortion that they might need, if that's what they choose to do. I think that’s an issue that we can work with and talk to people about on both sides of the aisle.
TODD: So you wouldn't be in favor of legislation that said, ban abortion after 20 weeks or something like that?
JONES: I'm not in favor of anything that is going to infringe on a woman's right and her freedom to choose.
What part of that doesn’t say abortion on demand? When it became a controversy in Alabama, Jones added “I support the current law on a woman’s freedom to choose, which has been in place for decades, where late-term abortions are permitted to protect the life or health of the mother." This would imply the original language in the Roe vs. Wade companion case Doe vs. Bolton, but abortion advocates define “health of the mother” very broadly to "well-being" -- meaning "she can have one if she wants one." Jones is running for U.S. Senate, so he was telling Todd that on Senate bills, he’s going to stand with Planned Parenthood on the “no infringing” on abortion rights.
PolitiFact’s Jon Greenberg, a former reporter for National Public Radio, brought in experts to act mystified at what “full-term abortion” means: “Law professor I. Glenn Cohen at Harvard University said he hadn’t heard the term and found it ‘puzzling.’"
What’s puzzling about it? Are Harvard professors really going to play dumb? Supporting abortion on demand means up until the end of the third trimester….and sometimes beyond. Greenberg wouldn’t get into troubling “pro-life facts” like the testimony by a Planned Parenthood official in Florida in 2013 who argued for a "right to choose" abortion after the baby has left the womb. That's who Doug Jones backs.
But back to PolitiFact’s experts:
Lisa Harris, a physician who studies abortion practice, law, policy and ethics at the University of Michigan Medical School, said " ‘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," she said.
Harris said the only situation that might match Moore’s "full-term abortion" are rare cases of third trimester abortion.
"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."
But frequency shouldn’t be the issue in this article – it’s facticity. If someone supported abortion for gender selection, it might not be common, but it’s still a matter of fact. The Centers for Disease Control reported in 2014 that they counted 652,639 abortions, and 1.3 percent of those occurred after 21 weeks gestation. That’s a small percentage, but it still adds up to more than 8,400 late-term abortions. It's as humane as arguing that mass shootings are "incredibly infrequent."
What PolitiFact doesn’t acknowledge is that Dr. Harris is an abortionist for Planned Parenthood, not just a student of “abortion practice,” and a feminist pro-choice activist. (She's even featured in a Center for Medical Progress video speaking at a Planned Parenthood conference. Take this passage from a 2010 New York Times article:
Two years ago, a young professor at the University of Michigan named Lisa Harris wrote an academic article about performing an 18-week abortion while she was 18 weeks pregnant. Harris described grasping the fetus’s leg with her forceps, feeling a kick in her own uterus and starting to cry. “It was an overwhelming feeling — a brutally visceral response — heartfelt and unmediated by my training or my feminist pro-choice politics,” she wrote. “It was one of the more raw moments in my life.”
The Times left out what Harris wrote next: "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."
But this was PolitiFact's conclusion:
Kayla Moore said Jones is for full-term abortion.
The language of the abortion debate is imprecise, but the phrase "full-term abortion" had virtually no track-record before Moore said it.
Jones said he supports laws that allow abortions after 20 weeks or so of gestation, commonly known as late-term abortions, to protect a mother’s life or health. He hasn’t addressed a situation that, in the view of a leading medical researcher [the abortionist], doesn’t exist in practice.
Moore measured Jones against a term that is disconnected from reality. We rate this claim False.