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

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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.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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