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Photograph of 26-week-old baby in womb.Lennart Nilsson

(LifeSiteNews) – The political arm of America’s largest abortion chain claimed this week that abortions to the moment of birth do not exist, a common denial of one of the abortion industry’s darkest and least-popular truths.

On Wednesday evening, in reaction to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s call to “hold the Democrats accountable for their extremism supporting abortion all the way up until the moment of birth” at the second Republican presidential primary debate, Planned Parenthood Action Fund asserted there was “no such thing as ‘abortion up until birth.’ It’s pure propaganda used by politicians who want to play politics with people’s medical decisions.”

The claim was met with a torrent of pushback from pro-lifers, including a pending Community Note pointing out that the “right” to legal abortion is currently not subject to any gestational limit in seven states. Available data, which has long been handicapped by underreporting and inconsistent reporting by different states, indicates that a little over 1% of annual abortions are committed at or after 21 weeks, which still translates to at least 10,000 late-term abortions annually. More than 50,000 preborn babies are killed per year after 15 weeks.

Last year, all but one House Democrat voted for the so-called Women’s Health Protection Act, which would force all 50 states to allow abortion for any reason up until fetal viability, and up until birth as long as an abortionist decides it is necessary for the mother’s “health.” In 2020, only two Senate Democrats voted for legislation to ban abortion at 20 weeks. Democrat leaders often refuse to identify any abortion restrictions they would accept, most recently Vice President Kamala Harris.

Also illustrative of the question is the issue of killing babies after birth, following botched abortions that result in a live newborn fully separated from his or her mother. Killing such babies is technically illegal under the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002, but that law does not contain criminal penalties that would provide for meaningful enforcement.

Over the past several years, congressional Republicans have repeatedly attempted to address that issue with a new bill, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, requiring basic medical care for such infants. But in January, all but two Democrats voted against the bill, and when in leadership, Democrats repeatedly blocked such legislation from even coming up for a vote.

Democrats justify their opposition to any abortion limits by claiming the latest abortions are only sought for extreme medical circumstances, such as pregnancy endangering a mother’s life. In reality, however, virtually every current proposed or enacted abortion ban expressly allows live-saving treatment in emergency situations, even if it results in the loss of a preborn child, and numerous medical experts (including former abortionists) attest that intentionally killing the child is neither necessary nor even the most prudent option for saving a mother’s life. Additionally, the vast majority of abortions have never been sought for medical reasons but for social, career, or financial considerations.

Abortion defenders have also attempted to deflect the infanticide issue by claiming that infanticide is a myth, but several former abortion industry insiders and policy scholars have told Congress or admitted under oath that it still happens and that many cases of infanticide are not captured by official numbers. The Abortion Survivors Network estimates that two of every 1,000 abortions result in a live birth.

While much has been made over the past year about popular ambivalence toward more comprehensive abortion bans now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned, public opinion is still firmly against late-term abortion, giving entities like Planned Parenthood strong incentives to deny the reality of the situation.

In June, Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America commissioned a poll from the Tarrance Group, which found that 77% of Americans support limiting elective abortions at least to the first 15 weeks, as opposed to only 14% endorsing abortion until the third trimester and 14% supporting it through all nine months. Other polls have found similar results: Pew (27% for abortion “legal in all cases”), Gallup (22% for abortion legal in the third trimester), and Marist (21% for abortion legal during the “entire pregnancy”).