Trump's new big lie: Women and doctors are plotting to execute newborn babies

Trump's new big lie: Women and doctors are plotting to execute newborn babies
Donald J. Trump/Shutterstock
Donald J. Trump/Shutterstock

Donald Trump returned over the weekend to what CNN accurately described as his “incendiary falsehood” 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, 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.

“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.

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