NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — After Tennessee State Rep. Gloria Johnson (D-Knoxville) announced she was running for Sen. Marsha Blackburn’s (R-Tennessee) U.S. Senate seat, Blackburn claimed in a cable news interview her opponents, “have supported abortion up to the last minute before and after birth.”
Johnson, however, said that is a lie.
The Knox County representative said her position on abortion is codifying Roe v. Wade, the now-overturned U.S. Supreme Court ruling, into law, which would legalize abortions before fetal viability.
Fetal viability under Roe has been considered to be at about the 24th week of pregnancy.
“Corrupt Marsha Blackburn lies again,” Johnson said in a statement. “She’s the radical extremist. My record is clear: I support women to make healthcare decisions with their doctor and without interference from radical politicians like Marsha.”
When asked what evidence backs up the claim that Johnson would support “abortion up to the last minute before and after birth,” a spokesperson for the Blackburn campaign said Johnson would have taken votes similar to other Senate Democrats.
“Almost every single Democrat in the Senate voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would provide medical care for any baby born alive regardless of the circumstances of their birth. She would be a puppet of Chuck Schumer and vote against this bill – just ask her,” said Blackburn campaign spokesman Abigail Sigler.
Johnson replied directly to Blackburn’s explanation.
“Corrupt Marsha Blackburn is lying again. This bill is pure propaganda to push disinformation about abortion later in pregnancy,” Johnson said. “If Marsha gets her way, more women will die preventable deaths because doctors will hesitate when a pregnancy is about to kill their patients.”
The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act passed in the U.S. House and failed in the Senate. The bill would require doctors to care for a baby born alive after a failed abortion just as they would care for any other child.
Critics of the bill said it legislates on an issue that is rare, already illegal, and would open doctors up to lawsuits. Supporters said it holds murderers accountable.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said, “Statements about ‘abortion up until the point of birth’ or ‘elective abortion’ are unscientific and crafted to polarize the conversation about abortion.
The group also notes that according to data from the CDC, about one to two percent of abortions happen after 21 weeks.