Three Articles on Trump, Republicans and Abortion
Trump’s new big lie – Women and doctors are plotting to execute newborn babies
written by Laura Clawson / Daily Kos April 29, 2019
Campaign Action Donald Trump returned over the weekend (of April 27-28, 2019 to what CNN accurately described as his “incendiary falsehood” that parents and doctors are “executing” newborn babies.
Donald Trump returned over the weekend to what CNN accurately described as his “incendiary falsehood” (1) that parents and doctors are “executing” newborn babies. Trump’s brazen lie came in response to Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers saying that he would veto a Republican “born alive” bill, one of the latest Republican efforts to use legislation to spread lies about abortion.
According to Trump, “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. I don’t think so.”
No, I damn well don’t think so, because it’s a lie.
In reality (2), what happens on some heartbreaking occasions is that a fetus has abnormalities so severe as to mean certain, often painful death—conditions “not compatible with life,” as writer Dana Zirlott described being told.
In humane states, when this is discovered before birth, women have the option to have a second- or third-term abortion and spare themselves and their children the misery of labor and delivery and a painful death. The decisions that Trump and Republicans want to deny women are first having that abortion when abnormalities are discovered and then choosing to allow their dying babies to die quickly and in peace. Instead, they want to force women and their
doctors to subject dying newborns to further horrific medical intervention, to needles and lights and loud voices and scalpels and machines that will only prolong the inevitable, only prolong their pain.
(Additionally, as pointed out in an accompanying article on this website, The Economic Side of the Pro-Life Movement by Sister Joan Chittister, O.S.B.: “Most of those who are deeply committed pro-life are also strongly against the welfare programs that typically provide life-saving assistance to the poorer segments of our society. It’s hard to reasonably argue BOTH positions at the same time.”)
“Execute”? Seriously? Even by Trump’s standards, this is an outrageous lie, though again we see how Trump and his party are fully aligned. Because those “born alive” bills are intended to more subtly convey the same lie: that there are babies being wantonly killed by doctors and parents. No. We’re talking about parents deciding not to put babies through pointless and traumatizing medical intervention, just as cancer patients might decide that suffering through another round of chemotherapy isn’t in their best interest when the chances it will work are tiny compared to the misery it will cause.
Trump’s lie has women carrying pregnancies to term for what? For the sport of executing a “beautifully wrapped” baby? Pregnancy and delivery are major stresses on a woman’s body. Women die all the time from them. When, usually around the 20th week of pregnancy—a point where, not coincidentally, Republicans focus their efforts toward banning abortion—women typically find out that the fetus they are carrying has conditions too severe for survival in anything but the most elemental and painful sense, a decent society allows women to terminate their pregnancies. U.S. society not always being decent, some women are denied that choice and instead have to face it in the form of a living, but dying, baby. Now Republicans are trying to deny women the choice to protect their babies from more pain, and Donald Trump is out there calling that execution.
Trump offers incendiary falsehood on abortion at Wisconsin rally
By Eli Watkins, CNN, Updated 4:40 PM ET, Sun April 28, 2019
Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump made an incendiary remark at a rally Saturday night, veering from criticism of Wisconsin’s Democratic governor to a false claim that mothers and doctors have the option to “execute” babies.
Speaking at a rally he hosted in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Saturday, Trump pointed to former Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who was in attendance, and said Walker’s successor, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers “shockingly stated that he will veto legislation that protects Wisconsin babies born alive.”
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Evers planned to veto a GOP-backed state bill that could have meant life sentences in prison for doctors who intentionally did not provide medical care to babies born alive after a failed abortion.
Trump continued on the theme after his initial comment to claim that mothers and doctors are given the choice to “execute” a baby. “The baby is born,” Trump said. “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. I don’t think so.”
Trump’s claim that mothers and doctors are permitted to execute a baby after it leaves the womb is incorrect. The bill he referred to would mandate that health professionals do all they could to keep a baby alive if it was “born alive” and would penalize anyone who let a baby die.
Trump insisted at his rally that this was “incredible” and also made an implicit reference to a comment from Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, who sparked confusion and controversy earlier this year when asked about legislation that would relax requirements around abortions in the third trimester.
“Until this crazy man in Virginia said it, nobody even thought of that,” Trump said. “Did anyone even think of that? You hear late- term, but this is when the baby is actually born, it came out, it’s there, it’s wrapped and that’s it.”
Northam told Washington radio station WTOP in January: “[Third trimester abortions are] done in cases where there may be severe deformities. There may be a fetus that’s nonviable. So in this particular example, if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen.”
“The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother,” Northam, a pediatric neurosurgeon, said.
Later, a spokesperson for Northam said his comments were taken out of context and “were limited to the actions physicians would take in the event that a woman in those circumstances [i.e. nonviable pregnancy and severe fetal abnormalities] went into labor” but the clarification did not address Northam’s remark that “the infant would be delivered.”
CNN spoke with a pair of ob-gyns earlier this year, both of whom took issue with the phrase “late-term” and rhetoric around the issue.
“Abortion later in pregnancy is not used as an alternative to delivering healthy women’s full-term, viable pregnancies,” said Dr. Barbara Levy, vice president of health policy at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “Additionally, it’s callous to suggest that healthy women with viable pregnancies at term abruptly change their minds and seek abortion care as the solution.”
Asked why abortions would happen at a later stage of pregnancy, Dr. Jennifer Conti, a fellow with the advocacy group Physicians for Reproductive Health and co-host of The V Word podcast, said, “Those exceptionally rare cases that happen after 24 weeks are often because a fetus has a condition that cannot be treated and will never be able to survive — regardless of the gestational age or trimester.”
“It’s this exact reason that it’s nonsensical to legislate these cases: Nobody arrives at the decision to have an abortion after 24 weeks carelessly,” Conti said. “Rather, it’s the rare case of rapidly decompensating maternal heart disease or a delayed diagnosis of anencephaly, where the fetus forms without a complete brain or skull, that bring people to these decisions.”
CNN’s Meg Wagner, Holmes Lybrand, Devan Cole and Jessica Ravitz contributed to this report.
Republicans want to increase the suffering of dying babies. Democrats should say so
Laura Clawson , Daily Kos Staff , Monday March 04, 2019 ·
Republicans are on the defensive after 2018’s blue wave and saddled with an unpopular president, so they’re going with an old favorite: lies and fear-mongering about abortion. If the extremity of a lie is correlated with the desperation of the person telling it, Republicans are very desperate indeed, because their current attack is that Democrats favor infanticide.
Democrats are “taking a barbaric position,” according to Rep. Steve Scalise, the House minority whip. Because, see, Democrats think women should have the right to decide, in consultation with their doctors, to terminate a second- or third-trimester pregnancy in cases where the mother’s life is in danger or there are fetal abnormalities so severe that a baby would die, likely in pain, within hours of birth. And when a baby is born in such a terminal condition, Democrats don’t think that parents and doctors should be forced to resuscitate so that it can suffer for slightly longer.
Politico reports that Democrats “hope to focus on aspects of women’s health where they are on more solid ground—for instance by, attacking the Trump administration’s recent move to cut funding for Planned Parenthood, congressional aides said.” Okay … but we can also take this head on.
Dr. Jen Gunter did just that in the New York Times, writing about her own child who died after being born premature. As an obstetrician, she knew what it meant when she went into labor at 22 weeks while pregnant with triplets. She was alone in the bathroom when she delivered her son into her own hands.
And when nurses and doctors arrived, she knew there was nothing they could do. Gunter was being treated to try to save her other two sons—who did survive—when “a nurse parted everyone and brought him to me wrapped in a blanket. He was dying, she said. Did I want to hold him?” That was the real choice she had. Hold her dying son, or not. Any medical intervention on him would only have prolonged the inevitable.
Or take the experience of Dana Zirlott, who wrote at HuffPost that she wished she’d been allowed to have an abortion when she got pregnant after rape, not because she didn’t love her daughter, but because she had watched her dearly loved daughter, born with a condition that a doctor described as “not compatible with life,” suffer for a year before dying. An abortion, Zirlott wrote, “would have been a kindness. Zoe would not have had to endure so much pain in the briefness of her life. Her heart could have been stopped when she was warm and safe inside me, and she would have been spared all that came after.”
These are stories for Democrats to embrace—to fight not just for women, but for babies whose suffering Republicans want to increase.