- President Donald Trump falsely claimed at a Wisconsin rally over the weekend that Democratic governor Tony Evers favours a bill that would permit doctors to execute babies.
- The president’s remarks were the latest in a string of attacks against “late-term abortions,” which he described at the rally as the equivalent of “allowing children to be ripped from their mother’s womb right up until the moment of birth.”
- Later abortions typically happen for medical reasons, such as some type of fetal anomaly or pregnancy complications that could threaten the mother’s health or life.
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In the Trump administration’s latest attack on reproductive health, the president falsely claimed at a Wisconsin rally on Saturday night that Democratic governor Tony Evers would permit doctors to execute babies.
“Your Democrat governor here in Wisconsin, shockingly, stated that he will veto legislation that protects Wisconsin babies born alive,” Trump said during the more than hour-long speech in Green Bay. The crowd, adorned in red ‘Make America Great Again’ hats and proudly waving signs, booed in response to the president’s claims. “The baby is born, the mother meets with the doctor, they take care of the baby, they wrap the baby beautifully, and then the doctor and the mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby,” Trump added.
Trump’s remarks were directed at Evers’ decision to veto a GOP-backed bill that would require health professionals to resuscitate children “born alive” after a failed abortion attempt, with doctors facing up to life in prison if they don’t provide that medical care. The president incorrectly claimed that mothers and doctors could execute the baby after it leaves the womb.
While no such bill has been signed into law, Trump’s support of such a measure indicates the general push toward stricter abortion laws and bills that could criminalise the health care providers and women who partake in abortions. Earlier this month, a Texas bill was introduced that would criminalise all abortions, with no exceptions for rape or incest, and make it possible to charge a women with the death penalty for having an abortion, according to The Washington Post. Legislation introduced in Alabama also intends to criminalise abortion, the bill’s sponsor, GOP Rep. Terri Collins, told The Associated Press.
North Carolina’s governor vetoed a bill similar to Wisconsin’s “born alive” measure this month, and the federal “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” was blocked earlier this year by Senate Democrats. In response to that, Trump took to Twitter, writing that “the Democrat position on abortion is now so extreme that they don’t mind executing babies AFTER birth…”
Senate Democrats just voted against legislation to prevent the killing of newborn infant children. The Democrat position on abortion is now so extreme that they don’t mind executing babies AFTER birth….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 26, 2019
The president’s remarks on Saturday were the latest in a string of attacks against “late-term abortions,” which he described at the rally as the equivalent of “allowing children to be ripped from their mother’s womb right up until the moment of birth.”
In Wisconsin, however, only around one per cent of all abortions in the state occurred past 20 weeks, per the state’s Department of Health Services. Nationwide, the trend is similar, with slightly more than one per cent of abortions performed past 21 weeks, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. They typically happen for medical reasons, such as some type of fetal anomaly or pregnancy complications that could threaten the mother’s health or life.
In February, Trump called on Congress to completely ban late-term abortions during his State of the Union address. He has also been vocal in his disregard for Virginia governor Ralph Northam, who supported a state bill intended to roll back restrictions on third-trimester abortion when the mother’s physical or mental health was at risk. Republicans have accused Northam of supporting infanticide, based on comments he made to a DC-based radio station about that bill.
Doctors and neonatal nurses have taken to social media to blast Trump for his comments about late-term abortions and false statements about babies being executed after birth.
“It is the tragic reality that complications may arise as the pregnancy progresses, some of which may affect the health of the patient or the foetus. And parents may choose to end the pregnancy – a decision that is personal and should not be subject to political interference,” Daniel Grossman, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UCSF, wrote in a February op-ed for Rewire.News, adding: “I’ve seen patients who need abortions after 20 weeks because restrictive laws in their state – unnecessary waiting periods, ultrasound mandates, needless and burdensome requirements for providers that cause clinics to close – forced them to delay seeking care.”
Thread: As a NICU nurse, I served on the “Bereavement Team.” We were a special team of Nurses tough enough to help new parents go through the worst day of their lives. Parents of babies who had fought so hard for their tiny little lives and weren’t going to make it… 1/ https://t.co/2ZzDAEziyi
— Julia Pulver for State Representative (@VotePulver) April 28, 2019
I’ve done abortions after 24 weeks.
For several years I lived in a state with no gestational age limit.
I have never done one that was not medically indicated.
I was never approached by any woman to do a non medically indicated abortion.
— Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) January 26, 2019
“The decision to terminate a pregnancy is never a political one, it is a personal one. Later abortions stories are often ones of tragedy and loss. For others they are stories of relief. They feature struggles with hope, women betrayed by their bodies and the incredible complexity of pregnancy,” read an open letter signed by people who have experienced later abortions. “We are not monsters.”
- Read more:
- The US is threatening to veto a UN resolution intended to offer support to survivors of rape because of reproductive health language
- The Trump administration awarded a family planning grant to an anti-abortion organisation, signalling a major funding shift at the agency
- Georgia’s 6-week abortion ban just passed the state’s House – and is headed to the Governor’s desk
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