Politics

CNN Analyst Repeats False Claim That Abortions Go ‘Down Under Democrats’

Alabama votes Tuesday in a very contentious Senate election.

Polls show a close race between Roy Moore and Doug Jones for the coveted Senate seat. The RNC and the president are backing Moore in spite of a slew of controversies. Alabama’s Republican voters also appear poised to support Moore.

On a recent CNN panel, Trump campaign strategist David Urban said evangelicals were voting for Moore because of his staunch pro-life and pro-gun stance. 

CNN political analyst Kirsten Powers immediately attacked Urban for bringing up “this thing that Republicans do with abortion.” She said abortion is at a 20-year low “because of Democrats being in power.”

Can we talk about this thing that Republicans do with abortion? The abortion rate is the lowest rate it has been in 20 years. That’s because of Democrats being in power. This is what happens — every time Democrats are in power, the abortion rate drops.

Her logic? Democrats “provide women with what they need.” Powers said:

They actually provide women with what they need to either avoid the pregnancy or the support they need to actually have the baby, you know, whether it’s health insurance or these kinds of things.

Jake Tapper chimed in with a bit on “birth control access,” essentially supporting the Powers’ logic.

The only problem? The argument is intellectually dishonest in the extreme.

While it is true that abortion rates fell sharply under the Obama administration, multiple studies discount that drops in overall rates are party affiliated. Abortion rates have been dropping consistently since Ronald Reagan, no matter the president in office. According to a thorough report by left-leaning Snopes, the claim that abortion rates only fall under Democrats is flatly “false.”

Snopes says “abortion rates have risen and fallen throughout presidencies of both parties, making drawing a direct correlation between the two untenable.” In fact, one of the sharpest increases in abortion rates in American history was during the Carter administration.

Powers went on to say that the GOP was using the pro-life argument to “manipulate” people to vote for Moore:

So Republicans use this as a way to manipulate voters into voting for somebody who has been credibly accused. These aren’t just accusations, you have to go and look and read them. Credible accusations from multiple women who talk about things that happened to them when they were girls. So you bring up this abortion thing like it’s the answer to the question and it’s just a manipulation.

Urban breathlessly said “I’m not trying to manipulate anything … I’m trying to say why would voters don’t identify with Doug Jones.”

Powers again repeated the falsehood to end the segment, declaring “The abortion rate goes down under Democrats. It’s just a bad argument.”