No exceptions. For any reason. At any stage in pregnancy. That’s the de facto position of candidates running on the abortion platform this election season.

It’s no secret how extreme many Democrat candidates have become on the issue of abortion. Yet recent “reporting” by the Philadelphia Inquirer not only appears to hide this fact but calls it misinformation to make such a truthful observation. (Trump, Republicans spreading abortion misinformation ahead of election, Philadelphia Inquirer, 5/17/24)

The Inquirer — in their politics section, not opinion page — cited as misinformation my claim made at this year’s Pennsylvania Leadership Conference that pro-abortion candidates want abortion until the due date of a child.

The Democrat Party platform talks about eliminating “barriers” to abortion but nowhere does it address a limit in pregnancy for when an abortion should not occur. Democrat U.S. Senator John Fetterman made it clear on his campaign trail when asked if there are any limits to abortion he would find appropriate: “I don’t believe so. No.” 

No matter how sensible a limit is on late-term abortion, it can be perceived as a barrier to a woman choosing to abort her unborn child. Too many candidates fail to draw a line anywhere and instead hide behind the generic “let the woman decide” mantra. Voters need to ask their down-ballot candidates more questions to further explain their position on abortion.

Yes, sadly there are women who elect to have an abortion in the third trimester for numerous reasons. One study from a publication of the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute identifies “most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.”

Additional research shows that of the small minority of later abortions categorized as fetal anomalies, the largest group of aborted babies is due to a diagnosis of Down syndrome. Would Democrats running for election this year declare it a “barrier” to abortion if the sole reason is a diagnosis of Down syndrome? That’s what former Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf believed in his disturbing 2019 veto of the Down Syndrome Protection Act.

Another claim the Inquirer painted as discreditable is the fact that abortion, particularly chemical abortion (the pill), is unsafe. For starters, any abortion is unsafe for the unborn child. It’s not health care when a successful elective procedure is killing another human being.

What the abortion industry is currently pushing with chemical abortion — forgoing an in-person consultation and ultrasound to mail pills for at-home abortions — does threaten the lives of women. According to the latest data from the state Department of Health, complications from abortions have tripled in the last five years. What also took place during that same time period? Chemical abortions rose from 38 percent of all statewide abortions to 55 percent. These complications include retained baby parts, bleeding, and infection. And these are just the reported incidents.

One out of every 50 pregnant women (around two percent of all pregnancies) will have an ectopic pregnancy, which can be fatal. The risk of death increases the longer an ectopic pregnancy goes undiagnosed. That’s one reason why an ultrasound is performed on an expectant mother, something the abortion industry is choosing to forgo in their profit-driven business plan of abortion-by-video through telemedicine. 

Here’s the landscape on abortion in our state. Current state law permits abortion up to six months in pregnancy for any reason except for the sex of the unborn child. Around 34,000 abortions are happening in Pennsylvania every year, with over 500 abortions happening after the midway point in pregnancy. Tragically, that’s not rare.

There are over 40 state bills currently introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly by pro-abortion politicians trying to increase abortions in our state, some as extreme as jeopardizing every current limit on abortion, including the six-month gestational limit. At the same time, you have Planned Parenthood publicly stating one of its goals is to shut down every pregnancy resource center in Pennsylvania.

More abortion and less help for women is an extreme agenda no one should raise their hand to support.

Retired Judge Cheryl Allen served on the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas and the Pennsylvania Superior Court. She is of counsel for the Pennsylvania Family Council.

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