Donald Trump Lies In Tweet, Claiming Virginia Governor Supports Post-Birth Execution Of Babies

Donald Trump isn’t the first to spread the entirely false claim that Virginia Governor Ralph Northam supports legalizing the post-birth execution of infants. However, such a blatant lie from the President of the United States was bound to catch attention.

ralph northam did not advocate post birth execution
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]

Donald Trump tweeted Friday to reiterate a long-debunked false story about Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. As a Fact Check explains, Northam is often quoted as saying, “The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable…and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

Quoted in that way, and pushed as an abortion policy narrative, the line seems to suggest that the governor advocates allowing babies to be born, then mother and doctor discussing whether to kill the infant.

This is a blatant distortion, however, by careful omission. With context, it becomes clear that Northam is talking about nonviable pregnancies, and that he’s then talking about the birth of an infant with deformities making it incompatible with life. He discusses keeping the baby comfortable while the parents and medical professionals decide whether to engage in heroic measures to prolong life, or to merely provide palliative care.

When we talk about third trimester abortions … it’s done in cases where there may be severe deformities, there may be a fetus that is non-viable. If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.

However, Donald Trump’s tweet, like the identical claim he made at a rally in February of 2019, actually declares that Northam is advocating “execution” of a born infant.

Virginia has seen a significant voter turnout for the first day of early voting, and Donald Trump lashed out Friday, saying that to prevent this infant execution, and gun confiscation, voters must support him. Perhaps concerned that early voters are turning out to support his opponent, Trump promised a big rally in the state soon.

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