Trump has said a lot of untrue things during his presidency. He's claimed without evidence that the noise from windmills causes cancer (it does not). He weirdly lied and said his dad was born in Germany (his birth certificate says the Bronx, New York). But his latest lie is on a whole new level.
In a rally on Saturday, the 45th president of the United States used his platform to falsely state, while discussing late-term abortions, that doctors are executing babies after they have been born.
“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.”
It is, as everyone has pointed out repeatedly, completely untrue.
It is not the first time he's made the dangerous lie.
Abortion is a contentious subject in the US, with people regularly picketing clinics that provide abortion services. The many violent attacks on these clinics are well documented, resulting in 11 murders and 17 attempted murders since 1977, despite the Department of Justice classifying anti-abortion extremists as domestic terrorists. Understandably, people are worried what those with extremist views might do if they believe the president's words that babies are being executed by doctors at the request of the family.
What Trump appears to be referring to in his rally is laws in Wisconsin regarding comfort care provided to babies born to die. In rare cases, for example, pre-eclampsia, the mother and baby can be put at risk of death by continuing a pregnancy, and inducing labor may be necessary to save the mother's life, Dr Daniel Grossman, a professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of California explained to the New York Times.
In these cases, where the infant is unlikely to survive, the family may choose to opt for comfort care for the baby, wrapping the baby and holding it, to provide it comfort as it dies naturally, rather than put it through resuscitation.
Trump is using these last few distressing minutes that a family gets to spend with their dying child to add his support to a harmful Republican bill called the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors bill that would force doctors to give care to infants born after failed abortion attempts, and see them face the possibility of life in jail if they do not comply. Earlier this year Wisconsin's Democrat governor, Tony Evers, said he planned to veto the GOP-backed bill as he believed existing laws offered enough protection to such babies and their families, hence Trump's comments while in the state.
In light of this, Julia Pulver, who ran for Michigan State Senate as a Democrat, and as a NICU nurse served on a Bereavement Team, shared her experience of what it's actually like for these families, and you need to read every word.