President Donald Trump flubbed a key word in his address to the March for Life rally on Friday, mistakenly telling anti-abortion protesters that it’s wrong for babies to be “born” in the ninth month of a pregnancy.
“Right now, a number of state 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,” he said.
As the Daily Beast pointed out, Trump’s prepared remarks showed that he meant to say “torn,” rather than “born,” in a reference to late-term abortion.
Trump’s mistake was mocked by critics on Twitter, including one commenter who reminded the president: “That’s called childbirth, dude” and another who joked, “Open mouth, insert foot.”
Some said the flub didn’t help Trump’s case amid speculation that he is mentally unfit to be president.
It’s also worth noting that, according to Planned Parenthood and the CDC, less than 1.4 percent of all abortions take place after 21 weeks.
Trump also raised the subject of late-term abortions in a presidential debate against Hillary Clinton in October 2016, claiming that doctors can “rip the baby out of the womb” in the ninth month of pregnancy, “as late as one or two or three or four days prior to birth.”
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Doctors, women’s health advocates and activists pushed back on his claim at the time. Dr. Jen Gunter, an OB-GYN who has performed many late-term abortions, noted in a blog post that terminations after 24 weeks are for severe fetal anomalies.
“There are no ninth month abortions. Really. A ninth month abortion is a unicorn and so it’s ridiculous to even discuss it,” she said.
And in a Vox.com article, Gunter explained, “I’m a doctor who was trained to do late-term abortions. I did them for five years in residency and for 10 years in practice and I have no idea what Trump is talking about. I have even practiced in states with no gestational age limit for abortions. So while I no longer perform abortions, I know much more about this subject than Donald Trump or any of his advisers can ever hope to know.”