New York, NY — President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund Cecile Richards today thanked Republican Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Susan Collins (R-ME) for opposing a harmful bill that would have banned all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with extremely limited exceptions. Both senators have a strong history of supporting women’s health care.  

Statement from Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“I thank Senator Kirk and Senator Collins for opposing an extreme bill yesterday that would have banned abortion at 20 weeks with limited exceptions — and barely an exception for the life of the mother. Their votes showed that allowing women to make the right decision for themselves and their family in often complex circumstances is, at the end of the day, not a partisan issue.”

Abortion later in pregnancy is very rare — nearly 99 percent of abortions in the U.S. occur before 21 weeks — and often happens under complex circumstances. Because these laws prevent doctors from giving their patients the best health care possible, leading medical organizations (like Physicians for Reproductive Health and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) condemn them — as do the American people: When Americans understand the real-world impact of this extreme ban, a solid 60 percent of voters oppose them, and a strong majority of voters — Republicans (62 percent), Democrats (78 percent), and Independents (71 percent) — say this is the wrong issue for Congress and their state legislators to be spending time on.

Yesterday, Planned Parenthood Federation of America released a video, “April’s Story: One Woman’s Experience of Having An Abortion at 21 Weeks,” which shares the personal story of a woman named April Salazar, who, while 18 weeks pregnant, found out with her husband that their baby would never be able to breathe on his own. If she carried the pregnancy to term and he was born alive, he would have died shortly after of suffocation, leading April to opt for an abortion at 21 weeks.

View the video here: https://youtu.be/30GY9H_M2e0