Witness Beautifully Slams Door On GOP Senator's Loaded Abortion Question

A witness at an abortion-rights hearing expertly rebuffed an inflammatory question from Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) on Wednesday. (Watch the video below.)

At a Senate subcommittee hearing that focused on interstate travel for abortions as more states restrict the procedure, Kennedy mentioned a woman who supposedly asked for an abortion in her 34th week of pregnancy.

“Should the mother at that juncture have the right — clearly a viable child — to abort the child?” Kennedy asked one witness, who said he didn’t want to engage in hypotheticals.

“That’s what your side always says,” Kennedy sneered. “My example’s not unrealistic. I wanna save my time. If your answer’s gonna be, ‘That never happens,’ let me go to Ms. Frye. What do you think?”

Jocelyn Frye, the president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, gave Kennedy a forceful response that refused to indulge right-wing fearmongering about extremely late procedures.

“First of all, don’t ask a question if you don’t want to know the answer,” Frye snapped. “But I’m saying to you, Senator, 1%, 1% of abortions happen at 21 weeks or later. So I think the premise of your question sets up a conversation about abortion that is unfair. It is — rarely is that ever the instance. The vast majority of pregnancies and abortions that are considered late in a pregnancy have to do with severe, devastating medical circumstances.”

She wasn’t done.

“And I understand your point, Senator. I understand your point. But with all due respect, I also think the chances of people sort of getting all the way through a pregnancy and just sort of saying, ‘I don’t want it,’ is disrespectful to women,” she added.

Frye’s reply was seconded by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), who presided over the meeting. He shared the exchange on X (formerly Twitter) and wrote: “At my hearing on the freedom to travel for abortion care, Senator Kennedy asked our witnesses to respond to a sensationalized, highly unrealistic hypothetical aimed at stoking fear. Ms. Frye’s response says it all.”

Frye later thanked Democrats on the committee for allowing her to testify. “The right to travel must be protected to ensure that all people can access essential care whenever they need it,” she wrote on X.