Senate hears dubious info

During debate last week on Senate Bill 179, dealing with abortion, Washoe County Sen. Ira Hansen said, “There’s a real change going on in America right now because so many young people are being exposed to ultrasounds and the younger people, interestingly enough, are the most pro-life people in America today.”

Hansen did not give a source for his assertion, but most surveys show younger citizens are the most supportive of abortion rights. In a Gallup survey released on June 15 last year, adults 18 to 49 call themselves “pro-choice.” Forty-nine is where the shift in sentiment occurs—those 50 and above identify as “pro-life.” Here are the percentages up to that point:

Between ages 18 and 29, respondents were 56-38 percent in favor of abortion. Within the age 30 to 49 cohort, respondents supported abortion 51-45 percent.

Sen. Hansen also said in his remarks, “I’d also point out that we’re going the opposite direction in some parts of the country, legalizing infanticide, flat out murder.”

Again, he was not specific. However, a law enacted recently in New York and laws proposed in Virginia and Rhode Island have been characterized as leading to infanticide, which they do not. The chair of New York’s Conservative Party, for instance, claimed that under terms of the new Reproductive Health Act (RHA) in that state, “If the baby was born alive, they would just let the baby expire.” The conservative magazine National Review ran an article headlined “New York, Virginia Abortion Laws: Infanticide Craze.” (The headline incorrectly describes the Virginia proposal as a law. It is a proposal.)

But the fact-checking site Politifact found upon investigation that the RHA removed duplicative language from existing law. That still leaves intact state and federal laws—including U.S. Public Law 107–207, 116 Stat. 926—requiring that “infants born alive are due the same medical care and protections as anyone else.”