Bernie Sanders addresses supporters during a campaign rally in Denver, Colorado on February 16, 2020 (Jason Connolly / AFP )

Sanders didn’t say backing abortion up to birth a key part of ‘being a Democrat’

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The headline of an article shared more than 15,000 times on Facebook claims that presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said supporting abortion up to birth is an “essential part of being a Democrat.” This is false; he made that remark in regard to backing abortion rights in general.

The article -- shared here and here -- is headlined: “Bernie Sanders: Supporting Abortions Up to Birth is an ‘Essential Part of Being a Democrat.’”

A screenshot taken on February 19, 2020

While the headline is false, the text of the article reports Sanders’ actual remark at a February 8, 2020 forum on the federal judiciary.

“I think being pro-choice is an absolutely essential part of being a Democrat,” the candidate said, without specifiying at what point abortions should be carried out.

The highly controversial and divisive issue of abortion is likely to play a central role in the 2020 presidential campaign, with Democrats coming out strongly in favor of a woman's right to chose and Republicans led by Donald Trump strongly opposing the procedure.