Fact check: No, Democrats did not vote for abortion 'on demand until birth'


But every Republican present voted against the House bill that would protect abortion rights.

Democrats in the House of Representatives on Friday passed the Women's Health Protection Act, a bill that would set in law the abortion rights protections enshrined in the Constitution and affirmed in the Supreme Court's 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade. House Republicans, who unanimously opposed the legislation, falsely accused the Democrats of voting for "on-demand" abortion through nine months of pregnancy.

"Democrats are pushing a radical pro-abortion bill, the so-called Women's Health Protection Act, which would allow abortion on demand up until the moment of birth," claimed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. "This is a radical policy that simply does not respect the sanctity of life."

"Nancy Pelosi's House Majority just voted to legalize abortion on demand up until birth. Absolutely horrifying," said Minority Whip Steve Scalise. "Never let them tell you they're 'moderate.'"

House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik asserted in a statement, "Eighty percent of Americans say abortion should be illegal in the third trimester, but this bill would allow for abortions of unborn children for any reason at any stage of pregnancy up until birth."

Other GOP representatives tweeted messages that repeated those same false claims.

But, like the precedents set by the Supreme Court's decisions in Roe and in Planned Parenthood of Southern Pennsylvania v. Casey, the Women's Health Protection Act would guarantee the right to choose whether to have an abortion only up to the point where a fetus is viable outside the uterus.

After that point, according to the text of the bill, abortion would be allowed only "when, in the good-faith medical judgment of the treating health care provider, continuation of the pregnancy would pose a risk to the pregnant patient’s life or health" — not on demand.

A Fox News poll released Thursday found that 65% of Americans want Roe to stand — an all-time high in the network's polling of the subject — while just 28% want it to be overturned. That survey found that even most registered Republican voters want to keep the law (53%-40%), as do those who say they voted for former President Donald Trump (52%-39%).

But all 210 Republicans present, along with Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas, voted against the legislation. Thanks to the Democratic majority, the bill still passed by a vote of 218-211.

The legislation now moves to the Senate, where it is unlikely to get the 60 votes necessary to overcome a GOP filibuster. On Tuesday, self-proclaimed "pro-choice" Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said that she would oppose the bill.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.