Biden, Harris, and Abortions Late in Pregnancy

Joe Biden by Gage Skidmore is licensed under Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0
Do Joe Biden and Kamala Harris believe that abortion should be legal even late in pregnancy? Here are four pieces of evidence that suggest the answer is yes.

First: Biden and Harris are strong supporters of Roe v. Wade.

Roe requires that abortion be permissible even at the end of pregnancy whenever a physician believes it necessary to protect a woman’s health. Doe v. Bolton, the companion case to Roe, says that “the medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors — physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age — relevant to the well-being of the patient.” While it has sometimes been suggested that Doe did not intend to say a broad health exception is constitutionally required, subsequent court decisions have insisted on it.

We have reason to think that each year in America, more than 10,000 abortions take place after the 20th week of pregnancy, and that the bulk of these abortions do not take place because of risks to mothers’ physical health or because of fetal abnormality. Yet prosecutions for violating state statutes that appear to prohibit abortion late in pregnancy are vanishingly rare, perhaps because the Supreme Court appears to have made such laws unenforceable.