Introduced as the country’s “most pro-life president in history” by Vice President Mike Pence, President Donald Trump addressed anti-abortion supporters on Friday by advocating for the decrease of pregnancies carried to term.
Over the nine minutes of his speech, Trump thanked anti-abortion advocates and healthcare professionals before admonishing Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that led to the right to an abortion, claiming that the U.S. is one of seven countries that allows “a baby to be born in his or her mother’s womb in the ninth month. It is wrong. It has to change.”
Yes, a pregnancy carried to term in the ninth month results in birth.
Trump reiterated messaging from this year’s rally theme of “love saves lives,” first thanking Pence and second lady of the U.S. Karen Pence for being “true champions for life” before reflecting on the commitment of the anti-abortion march’s attendees to “protect and cherish” life.
“The March for Life is a movement born out of love,” Trump said. “You love every child, born and unborn because you believe that… every child is a precious gift from God.”
Trump appears to have misspoken about U.S. laws on late-term abortions after the highly controversial “fetus viability” standard of 20 weeks, in the range between 22 weeks and the third trimester—procedures which are highly rare in the first place.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, slightly more than 1 percent of abortions are performed after 21 weeks, and in 2012, only 34 percent of all abortion providers offered abortions at 20 weeks, while only 16 percent offered at 24 weeks. Trump, as a presidential candidate, has previously claimed that late-term abortions “rip the baby out of the womb,” which is not true.
Trump then continued to call late-term abortions “painful.” However, claims that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks of gestation remain unproven—the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has even testified before the House Judiciary Committee to state that it “knows of no legitimate scientific data or information that supports the statement that a fetus experiences pain at 20 weeks’ gestation.”
Trump’s abortion gaffe did not go unnoticed, with critics sharing Trump’s would-be call for less pregnancies carried to term, and therefore, for more abortions.
This man is our president pic.twitter.com/sqMS7uhN1W— Todd Dracula (@ToddDracula) January 19, 2018
“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.”— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 19, 2018
Genuinely confused by this. (via ABC) pic.twitter.com/3FT8SCQY5V
Watch the entire speech below: