Former President Donald Trump revived one of his most egregious lies about abortion during an interview televised Sunday, repeatedly making the easily debunked claim that multiple states allow physicians to “kill the baby after birth.”
The former president and 2024 Republican front-runner made the claims during a pretaped sit-down interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Trump insisted on this being true eight times throughout the interview, despite moderator Kristen Welker’s repeated corrections.
“You have some states that are allowed to kill the child after birth, and you can’t allow that,” Trump insisted.
“Look, the Democrats are able to kill the baby after birth,” he doubled down.
“Even after birth, you’re allowed to terminate the baby,” he claimed.
All of these statements are categorically false. It is not legal in a single state to willfully end the life of a newborn.
“Anti-abortion politicians who make these outrageous and false claims are pushing a political agenda at the expense of real patients and people who are harmed by abortion bans,” Kelly Baden, the vice president of policy for the Guttmacher Institute, said in a statement to HuffPost.
It’s critical, she continued, to “counter anti-abortion rhetoric that has no basis in evidence, facts or medical standards of care and serves only to place abortion providers and patients at risk.”
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is also unequivocal in its statements that no physician would perform what Republicans like to refer to as a “post-birth abortion.”
“No such procedure exists,” ACOG says on its website, noting that claims like this are “intended to demonize not only the procedure but also the people who provide and receive it.”
Some of Trump’s lies about abortion Sunday were even highly specific. He claimed that New York had “passed legislation where you’re allowed to kill the baby after birth” and that a former Virginia governor advocated for infanticide.
New York never passed any such legislation, and Trump’s claims that it did appear to be ripped straight from a social media hoax last year that circulated among right-wing circles.
The former Virginia governor Trump was referring to was likely Ralph Northam (D), who said in 2019 that if a mother delivers a nonviable fetus, the “infant would be kept comfortable,” and the parents would have the option to take extreme attempts at resuscitation. Republicans have long twisted those comments, as Trump did in Sunday’s interview, and held them up as evidence of a Democrat supporting infant euthanasia.
Trump has made similar comments on the campaign trail in recent years, prompting several fact-checks from media outlets. Republican presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has recently made the same outlandish claim, too.
Among those outraged by Trump’s comments was Fred Guttenberg, a gun reform activist whose daughter Jaime was killed in the mass shooting at at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2018.
“Beyond this being a truly dumb lie, here are facts,” Guttenberg posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “My baby was killed after birth because of gun violence. Republicans, by blocking gun violence prevention, apparently support killing babies after birth.”