Trump falsely claims Democrats support ‘execution’ of babies after birth

Former president Donald Trump wears a suit and tie as he speaks to people off camera and stands in front of red, white and blue US flags

Donald Trump repeated a right-wing conspiracy theory that Democrats want to ‘execute’ babies by allegedly supporting abortion “up to and even beyond the ninth month”. 

Trump, who is the first former president in US history to face criminal charges, lashed out at public disagreement with his stance on reproductive rights in several posts and a video on his Truth Social media platform Monday (8 April).

In the four-minute address, the Republican 2024 presidential hopeful proclaimed he was “proudly the person responsible for ending” Roe v Wade, which was the constitutional right to abortion in the US. The landmark 1973 decision was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2022, throwing access to reproductive healthcare into turmoil. 

The ruling faced immense backlash, and the debate over reproductive rights has plagued Republicans at the ballot box ever since. 

However, Trump claimed it’s Democrats, not Republicans, who are the “radical ones” in this debate. He then pushed an unfounded conspiracy theory that Democrats support “abortion in the later months and even execution after birth”. 

“It must be remembered that the Democrats are the radical ones on this position because they support abortion up to and even beyond the ninth month,” Donald Trump alleged. 

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“The concept of having an abortion in the later months and even execution after birth. And that’s exactly what it is. 

“The baby is born, the baby is executed after birth is unacceptable. And almost everyone agrees with that.”

The remarks are part of a smear campaign that Donald Trump and his far-right allies, such as Texas senator Ted Cruz and Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, have repeated in the past to attack reproductive rights, as well as attempt to blunt the support Democrats have seen on the issue. 

Former president Donald Trump wears a suit and tie as he stands at a podium and speaks into a microphone wile at a political rally
Donald Trump has attacked access to abortion in the US multiple times in the past. (Getty)

During his 2019 presidential election campaign, Trump claimed at rallies in Texas and Wisconsin that parents and doctors in America have the option to “execute” babies.

At another rally in Florida, he alleged Democrats were “pushing extreme late-term abortion”, “allowing children to be ripped from their mother’s womb right up until the moment of birth”.

Pregnancy terminations after the first trimester are extremely rare in the US. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, less than one per cent of abortions in 2021 were carried out at 21 weeks or later. The majority (93.5 per cent) of the 625,978 legally induced abortions that year were performed before 13 weeks’ gestation. 

Dr Daniel Grossman, a professor of obstetrics, gynaecology and reproductive sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, told the New York Times that cases where infants are born alive after attempted abortions are extremely rare. 

Dr Grossman explained there are several circumstances in which a foetus might be at the edge of viability but is unlikely to survive after being born. This can include severe foetal anomalies that would leave the baby with little chance of survival or conditions that threaten the pregnant person’s life. 

Every case is different from a medical perspective, Grossman said, and there “isn’t a bright line”. 

Protestors hold up signs showing their support for abortion rights and Planned Parenthood in the US
Access to abortion and reproductive rights have become a hot button issue in the US, and this only increased after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade in 2022. (Getty)

“No one could say we would always do this at one gestational age, and do something else at another gestational age,” Dr Grossman said. “It depends on whether the foetus is already compromised.”

Dr Kristyn Brandi, a member of Physicians for Reproductive Health, told Time that concerns about people getting abortions while in labour are unfounded and these “theoretical extreme examples” are an attempt to “scare people”. 

“It’s not something that any person would come seeking, and it’s not something that any doctor would provide,” she said.

Biden-Harris 2024 campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez called Donald Trump’s claim Democrats support “executions” of children after birth a “disgusting and blatantly false accusation” that the presumptive Republican presidential candidate is “making to try to distract from his own unpopular policies”.