Lauretta Brown is the Register’s Washington-based staff writer.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass, brought up abortion on the Democratic debate stage Tuesday in a telling exchange (at the 3:52 mark in this video) that highlighted her cognitive dissonance on the issue. Warren referenced a woman’s allegation of pregnancy discrimination against billionaire candidate Michael Bloomberg that he had told her to “kill it” after learning she was pregnant.
While Bloomberg vehemently denied the accusation, Warren’s concern over “killing” was due to the fact that in this instance it would not have been the woman’s choice. When the beating heart of an unborn child is stopped due to a woman’s choice, Warren advocates to protect that procedure and there is no language of “killing.”
Just moments before the exchange, Warren attacked Bloomberg for not being sufficiently pro-abortion. “In 2016, he dumped $12 million into the Pennsylvania Senate race to help re-elect an anti-choice, right-wing Republican senator,” she said, referencing his support for Sen. Pat Toomey. Bloomberg backed Toomey because of his bipartisan work to expand background checks for gun purchases.
Warren said that the pregnancy discrimination issue was “personal” for her, recounting that she lost her first job as a special education teacher due to her pregnancy — a claim that has been disputed.
Warren is a staunch abortion advocate and in another Democratic debate earlier this month, she called for “a national law to protect the right of a woman's choice," arguing that "if we are going to protect the people of the United States of America, and we are going to protect our rights to have dominion over our own bodies, then it's going to be we can't simply rely on the courts."
When asked about her stance on late-term abortions after viability, Warren told The New York Times that “only 1.3 percent of abortions take place at 21 weeks or later, and the reasons are heartbreaking. Twenty-week abortion bans are dangerous and cruel … they would force women to carry an unviable fetus to term or force women with severe health complications to stay pregnant with their lives on the line.”
The Guttmacher Institute did find that 1.3% of abortions take place after 20 weeks, but that still adds up to 12,000 abortions a year. Pro-life physicians have asserted that in difficult medical situations “the direct abortion — the purposeful destruction of the unborn child — is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman.”
In addition to being very pro-abortion without limits until birth, Warren has also consistently voted against the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which requires that doctors use “the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health” of a child born alive after an abortion attempt as “any other child born alive at the same gestational age.”
And while Warren voiced concern over allegations that Bloomberg encouraged a woman to have an abortion, she is not concerned over the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) partnering with the Chinese government despite their policy of coercing abortions.
Warren signed on to a letter to the State Department that urged a restoration of the $32.5 million in funding to the UNFPA that the Trump administration withdrew due to UNFPA’s partnership with the Chinese government.Warren and her colleagues in the Senate argued in the April 2018 letter that the decision to pull UNFPA’s funding was “unfounded, short-sighted, and will have a harmful impact on some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.”
The State Department has repeatedly explained that the decision not to fund UNFPA is due to its partnership with the Chinese government since "China's family planning policies still involve the use of coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization practices," according to a State Department spokeswoman.
The State Department has said that according to its own materials, UNFPA “partners on family planning with the Chinese government agency responsible for these coercive policies." UNFPA denies that they are involved in China’s coerced abortions or sterilizations.
Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute (PRI) who conducted investigations of the one child policy in China, has characterized UNFPA as “the notorious U.N. agency that has been the chief international cheerleader for, and financial supporter of, China’s repressive ‘planned birth’ policies from their beginning.”
“PRI reports led the U.S. State Department to conduct its own investigation, which confirmed PRI’s findings, namely, that the ‘one-child policy’ was just as rigorously enforced in Chinese counties where the UNFPA was in charge as elsewhere in China,” Mosher told the Register in 2017. “The UNFPA was not a force for moderation in China, but was aiding and abetting the Chinese government’s enforcement of the policy.”