FACT CHECK: Did Elizabeth Warren Say, ‘Having An Abortion Is No Different Than Someone Having Their Tonsils Removed’?

Jonathan Fonti | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren once said, “Having an abortion is no different than someone having their tonsils removed.”

Verdict: False

There is no evidence Warren ever made the statement attributed to her in the post, though she has made comparisons between the safety of procedures in the past.

Fact Check:

Warren has been the subject of viral misinformation on numerous occasions. In this case, a viral post credits the Massachusetts senator with saying a quote equating an abortion to a tonsillectomy. (RELATED: Does Elizabeth Warren Want To Take Guns Away From Republicans?)

There is, however, no evidence of Warren ever saying or writing the quote attributed to her in the Facebook post. The Daily Caller searched the internet, social media and news coverage and could not find any instance of her ever making that statement.

Yet, while there’s no proof the Massachusetts senator ever made this statement, she has made comparisons between the safety of the two procedures on several occasions in the past.

On Jan. 21, 2018, Warren authored an op-ed for Time magazine, in which she wrote, “On the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I think about what has changed since abortions became legal. Our health care system has pretty much dealt with the safety issue: thanks to Roe v. Wade, abortion is now safer than getting your tonsils out. A lot of women are alive today because of Roe.”

That opinion column included a link to a 2014 Time magazine article about a study published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. The authors of the study told Time that they observed the rate of complications following abortions was lower that those following wisdom teeth removals and tonsillectomies.

Warren also made a similar statement on the floor of the Senate Jan. 31, 2018, while delivering a speech in opposition to a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. (RELATED: Does The Alabama Abortion Bill Mandate Jail For False Rape Allegations?)

Several months later, she wrote an opinion column outlining her objections to President Donald Trump nominating Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court for Marie Claire magazine. She again made a comparison between the safety of the two procedures in that July 2018 op-ed.

“Today, thanks to Roe, getting an abortion is safer than getting your tonsils out,” wrote Warren. “Before Roe v. Wade, many women turned to back-alley butchers to end their pregnancies.”

The quote, Snopes reported, stems from websites that publishing articles mischaracterizing her comparison of the safety of the procedures in her arguments supporting Roe v. Wade.

Jonathan Fonti

Fact Check Reporter
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