By Alex Christy
Washington correspondent Sunlen Serfaty joined Thursday’s CNN This Morning to fact-check some of the claims former President Donald Trump made on Wednesday night’s town hall including the claim that Hillary Clinton supports late third trimester abortions. Serfaty would defend Clinton against the charge, but she did not accurately portray Clinton’s beliefs.
Serfaty claimed that Trump’s “comments were very misleading” for accusing “Democrats and specifically Hillary Clinton of supporting abortion late into the third trimester.”
As Serfaty tells it, “Clinton’s stance was that mother’s whose life or health is in jeopardy should be allowed to terminate a pregnancy at any point up until birth. Under Roe v. Wade states had the authority to regulate or ban abortion in a third trimester except when necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.”
First, what Roe allowed is not necessarily the same thing as what Clinton supported. Secondly, Serfaty omitted half of Clinton’s position. In 2016, Clinton did indeed say that third trimester abortions should be legal for reasons relating to the health and life of the mother, but she also added:
I have met with women who have, toward the end of their pregnancy, get the worst news one could get. That their health is in jeopardy if they continue to carry to term. Or that something terrible has happened or just been discovered about the pregnancy. I do not think the United States government should be stepping in and making those most personal of decisions. So you can regulate if you are doing so with the life and the health of the mother taken into account.
What is Clinton’s definition of “terrible” and what could be discovered that justify a third trimester abortion? Clinton didn’t say.
Back in present day, Serfaty also sought to defend Clinton by noting, “It’s also very important to note here that late-term abortions are very, very rare, less than 1 percent according — occurring at 21 weeks or later in 2020 and that’s according to the U.S. Centers for [Disease] Control and Prevention.”
This is another favorite tactic of the fact-checkers, but simply citing data on late-term abortions doesn’t debunk claims that Democrats are radicals for supporting them. If anything, it confirms them.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Newsbusters and is reposted with permission.