Vice President Kamala Harris rejected accusations from some Republican officials that Democrats want to allow abortion procedures until a person gives birth, calling the claim “ridiculous.”
Harris on CBS’ “Face the Nation” called on lawmakers to codify the rights established in Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case that brought abortion protections from coast to coast. Before the case was overturned, virtually every state in the country allowed people to have abortions, at least up to a point of viability, typically about 24 weeks into pregnancy.
When CBS’s Margaret Brennan asked which “week of pregnancy” Harris believes a potential abortion bill should protect, the vice president repeatedly said, “We need to restore the protections of Roe v. Wade” and that the Biden administration ” not trying to do everything that didn’t exist before June of last year.”
Brennan explained that she asked the vice president about a specific week because “Republicans are saying there’s no precise date for cutting it off – you know this – they’re saying Democrats can perform abortions up until, you know, birth.”
“That’s ridiculous,” Harris said, calling the argument a “mischaracterization of the point.”
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Some Republican lawmakers and candidates across the country have falsely claimed that Democrats broadly want pregnant women to be able to get an abortion at any time, even if they are weeks away from potentially giving birth.
Abortions in the third trimester of pregnancy are already rare and usually occur due to severe fetal abnormalities. In 2019, approximately 93% of abortions occurred during or before the 13th week of pregnancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1% of abortions occurred at 21 weeks or later.
Abortions that occur later in pregnancy usually involve medications to induce labor early, which experts say is different from a surgical abortion.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Harris rejects GOP claim that Democrats want abortion rights up to birth