Fact check: Satire article misrepresents Biden's abortion stance

Ella Lee, USA TODAY
·4 min read

The claim: Joe Biden proposed the legalization of abortion in the '4th trimester'

Abortion and the right to choose whether to have one has long been a point of contention between Democrats and Republicans. An article claims Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s stance on the matter is particularly radical.

The article, posted in the Facebook group “Bill O'Reilly fan group,” claims Biden proposed to legalize “4th trimester abortions” if he is elected.

“An announcement like this just weeks before the election is a clear sign that the Democrats know they are losing,” the article reads. “It’s an act of desperation by a drowning candidate.”

It also claims that Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is in support of the supposed move.

The Facebook user who posted the article did not respond to USA TODAY's request for comment.

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Claim is from satirical website

The “fourth trimester” of pregnancy is a term referring to the 12 weeks after a baby is born. There is no such thing as a fourth trimester abortion.

The claim was made by satirical website “America’s Last Line of Defense.”

On its “About Us” page, the website describes itself as part of a “network of parody, satire and tomfoolery,” and states that all its articles are “fiction.”

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The Biden-Harris platform supports Roe v. Wade and says Biden plans to codify it into federal law.
The Biden-Harris platform supports Roe v. Wade and says Biden plans to codify it into federal law.

Biden’s history with reproductive rights

Biden has said that if elected, he will work to codify Roe v. Wade, making it federal statutory law, according to his “Agenda for Women.”

His campaign further clarified to PolitiFact that Biden supports the landmark case as understood by another Supreme Court case, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania vs. Casey, which arguably gave states more room to regulate abortion access and abortion providers.

Biden’s Agenda for Women says he plans to restore federal funding to Planned Parenthood, which was eliminated via a “domestic gag rule” Trump instated.

His views on abortion changed drastically over the decades he spent in office. In 1973, Biden said the Supreme Court went “too far” with Roe v. Wade, and a year later, he said a woman shouldn’t have the “sole right to say what should happen to her body,” the New York Times reported.

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He was a supporter of the Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of federal funds for abortions, with the exception of situations involving rape, incest or life-threatening circumstances, until last year, after fellow Democrats Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke criticized his position, according to Axios.

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Our rating: Satire

We rate the claim that Biden proposed the legalization of "fourth trimester" abortions as SATIRE because it uses exaggeration and absurdity for criticism but might not immediately be understood to be satirical.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Satire article misrepresents Biden's stance on abortion