The left-wing “fact checker” Snopes relied on abortion activists’ comments this week to argue that President Donald Trump was wrong about infanticide.
Snopes gave a “False” rating to Trump’s comments last week about “executing” infants who survive abortions. But its rating deflected from the reality that babies do survive abortions, and they deserve the same care and compassion as any other infant.
Last week, Trump criticized Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and other Democrats for refusing to support legislation requiring that infants who survive abortions be provided with basic medical care.
“Your Democrat governor here in Wisconsin, shockingly, stated that he will veto legislation that protects Wisconsin babies born alive,” Trump said.
“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,” he continued.
Snopes relied heavily on abortion activist Dr. Daniel Grossman, rather than an unbiased source, to claim Trump’s comment about “executing” babies was false.
“It is not at all true,” Grossman said.
Stories about babies surviving abortions and either being killed or callously left alone to die is a common pro-life trope, as are over-representations about the frequency and legality of late-term abortions.
Grossman says a fetus likely could not survive an abortion, and if it did, the law requires that it be cared for in the same manner as any other baby of its same gestational age.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, at least 143 babies were born alive after botched abortions between 2003 and 2014 in the U.S., though there may be more. Research by the American Center for Law and Justice estimated the number was 362 between 2001 and 2010. Government data from Canada and Australia also indicate that, though it is rare, babies sometimes do survive abortions.
Neither Snopes nor Grossman mentioned any of these reports.
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Later, Grossman seemed to contradict himself when he said parents and doctors may decide not to provide life-saving medical care to the baby because he or she may be too premature to survive or may be disabled.
“That’s a very difficult and personal decision that family has to make with their care team,” Grossman said.
According to Snopes:
It’s also important to note that “heroic measures” in these cases can be painful, not just futile, as they involve starting intravenous (IV) lines in tiny, fragile blood vessels to push drugs; multiple blood draws’ and sticking a breathing tube down the baby’s windpipe to force air into the lungs. “These are really severe cases involving severe malformation [and/or] extreme prematurity, where really the chance [of survival] is close to zero if not zero, and it just doesn’t make sense to put both the baby and the family through that,” Grossman added.
But these situations are exactly why pro-lifers believe the Born Alive Infant Survivors Protection Act is necessary. Babies sometimes do survive abortions, and nurses have testified about seeing these babies abandoned to die without medical care.
Nurse Jill Stanek testified about seeing babies born alive after botched abortions when she worked at a Chicago hospital in the late 1990s. She said she held one little baby boy for 45 minutes until he died; the horrors she saw later prompted her to became a pro-life advocate.
Snopes, in its “fact check,” also brought up the infamous Kermit Gosnell case out of Philadelphia to claim that states already have laws to protect abortion survivors from infanticide.
It was correct that Gosnell was convicted under the law for murdering three newborn babies inside his “house of horrors” abortion facility. But pro-lifers say that infanticide through denial of basic medical treatment could still occur under the law. What’s more, if the legislation really is just redundant, it makes no sense to oppose it.
Currently, 19 states do not have laws requiring medical care for babies born alive after botched abortions, according to research by Americans United for Life. Some states never have passed laws to protect abortion survivors, while at least one other, New York, recently repealed its law requiring medical care for infants who survive abortions.
Pro-life lawmakers are working to crack down on infanticide across the nation. States including, Kentucky and Texas, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Alabama are moving forward with legislation to require basic medical care for newborns.
Trump has been rightly highlighting this atrocity in his recent speeches. Americans deserve to know the truth that babies do survive abortions, and there are powerful people in our country who are fighting against providing them with basic medical care.