President Trump made one of his more confusing slips on Friday, appearing to defy the laws of nature by insisting: “Right now, in a number of states, the laws allow a baby to be born from his or her mother’s womb in the ninth month. It is wrong. It has to change.”
What he meant to say, apparently, was that the laws in a number of states allow a baby to be aborted in the ninth month.
He’s wrong about that, too.
Trump spoke at an anti-abortion rally, and his words quickly ricocheted around social media.
We can assume he meant to say that several states allow babies to be aborted in the ninth month because he’s said that before. During an Oct. 19, 2016, presidential debate, he said of his opponent, Hillary Clinton:
“If you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby … Now, you can say that that’s OK and Hillary can say that that’s OK. But it’s not OK with me, because based on what she’s saying, and based on where she’s going, and where she’s been, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month on the final day. And that’s not acceptable.”
Clinton replied: “Well, that is not what happens in these cases. And using that kind of scare rhetoric is just terribly unfortunate.”
Doctors interviewed by The New York Times after the debate said Trump was inventing things.
“That is not happening in the United States,” said Dr. Aaron B. Caughey, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at Oregon Health and Science University. “It is, of course, such an absurd thing to say.”
If you want to take a deep dive on the subject, San Francisco obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Jen Gunter wrote a lengthy blog post on the matter.
As the Times reported, “Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case legalizing abortion, essentially established abortion as legal up until a fetus would be viable outside the womb (about 24 weeks into pregnancy) but also said later abortion is permissible under certain conditions, including to protect the life or health of the mother.”
But don’t worry: As of now, the Supreme Court still allows babies to be born after nine months. It is not wrong and doesn’t have to change.