Trump Has a New Go-To Lie About Abortion, and It’s Horrific

The president has made similar comments before, but this was even worse.

Douglas Christian/ZUMA

At a campaign rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Saturday night, President Donald Trump whipped his campaign rally into a frenzy with his usual litany of attacks against the press and his political opponents. Then he turned to the topic of abortion, describing a graphic—and wholly inaccurately—situation in which a mother and doctor “execute” a baby. 

Trump claimed to be describing “extreme late-term abortions,” telling the crowd that babies are “ripped from their mother’s womb right until the moment of birth.” He was just getting started. Trump proceeded to tell the raucous crowd that Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers “shockingly stated that he will veto legislation that protects Wisconsin babies born alive. Born alive. 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 repeated this again, and used a guillotine hand motion for effect.

None of what he said is true. Trump has repeated similar claims before: at a campaign rally in El Paso, Texas, in February, and again during his State of the Union address, when he claimed that “lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth.” Now his descriptions are just getting even more graphic and violent.

Evers recently promised a veto of a Republican-backed bill that could send a doctor to prison for life if he or she doesn’t provide medical care in a failed abortion attempt to a baby “born alive.” Not only is that an extremely rare occurrence, but only about 1 percent of abortions in Wisconsin occurred after 20 weeks of pregnancy in 2017, according to state health statistics. The vast majority of abortions (84 percent) occur before 12 weeks.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate