Mike Pence Tells Wisconsin Voters Biden Supports Late-Term Abortions

Vice President Mike Pence portrayed Joe Biden as a "radical left" leader in cautionary remarks to Wisconsin voters, claiming the presidential hopeful supports "late-term abortion right up to the moment of birth."

Pence went on the offensive against Biden during a speech at Ripon College Friday, tying the Democratic candidate to a "socialist" agenda backed by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. He did little to tout President Donald Trump's own re-election campaign and instead painted a picture of Biden as a supporter of taxpayer-funded abortions and an enemy of conservative American values.

But despite Pence's aggressive claims, Biden has only publicly expressed support for the codification of Roe v. Wade into federal law, and he only recently announced he no longer supports the Hyde Amendment that banned the use of federal funds for abortion except in rare cases.

"Joe Biden supports taxpayer funding of abortion, repealing the Hyde Amendment, ending a Mexico City policy that prevents federal funding from supporting abortions around the world," Pence said in an appeal to opponents of abortion in the election swing state. "And Joe Biden even supports late-term abortion — allowing innocent, unborn children to be aborted right up to the moment of birth."

Trump has repeatedly made similar exaggerated claims about Biden's stance on reproductive rights. The president falsely told Charlotte, North Carolina rally-goers in a March 2 speech that Democrats have "unlimited support for extreme late-term abortion, ripping babies straight from the mother's womb, right up until the very moment of birth."

Biden, who up until 2007 opposed all federal funding for abortion procedures, did offer unequivocal support for abortion rights in July 2019. But health experts say that just because someone supports abortion rights, it doesn't mean they back "extreme late-term abortions." One expert told the Washington Post after Trump's March claim that the concept of "abortion up until the moment of birth" is not rooted in reality.

"'Abortion until the moment of birth' does not exist — it's a boogeyman abortion opponents have created to frighten voters and derail rational conversation about constitutional rights," said Katie L. Watson, a professor at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. "Nobody 'supports' it, and nobody does it. No patient ever asks a physician to end her pregnancy 'the moment before birth,' and no physician would agree to do it."

Newsweek reached out to the Biden campaign Saturday for response to Pence's Friday abortion claims and for any additional details about his stance on reproductive rights. Newsweek also reached out to a representative of Pence regarding his Wisconsin comments.

Pence said Trump, by contrast, "has stood without apology for the sanctity of human life" throughout his tenure as president. The Indiana conservative has long referred to Democrats and backers of women's access to contraceptives as part of a "culture of death."

The vice president on Friday went on to flatly state the Trump administration does not support a national mandate for Americans to wear masks that help prevent the spread of coronavirus, Breitbart News reported Saturday. Trump also said he is opposed to a national mandate this past week.

mike pence abortion joe biden
Vice President Mike Pence claimed Joe Biden supports "late-term abortions right up to the moment of birth" in an aggressive speech to Wisconsin voters Friday. CHIP SOMODEVILLA / Staff/Getty Images