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Everything Wrong with Donald Trump’s March for Life Speech

On January 19, President Trump spoke at the 45th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. via satellite. It was the first time a sitting president ever addressed the march since it was established. Trump praised marchers for helping women and giving them “life itself.” He said he was “honored” and “proud” to be addressing those at the march. He told the marchers that “because of you, tens of thousands of Americans have been born and reached their full God-given potential.”

Trump made several claims about the pro-life community and abortion rights in America throughout his speech. Some were assumptions, some were twisted facts, and some were straight-up false. I fact-checked those that seemed the most questionable.

Trump claimed that Roe v. Wade “has resulted in some of the most permissive laws anywhere in the world.” This, of course, is false. In most states, abortion laws are in line with most of those in Europe, with the exception of Ireland, Great Britain, Poland, and Finland. The United States’ introduction of abortion access had little to no effect on the abortion laws of other countries. If anything, it set the stage for other countries to follow suit in creating safe, healthy access to abortion services.

Another claim of Trump’s was that Americans are becoming increasingly more pro-life, and that “you see that all the time.” This, of course, is false. According to Gallup, a source that has been tracking public opinion of abortion for decades, the percentage of pro-life Americans has not changed much in the past few decades. After fluctuating between a maximum of 56 percent and a minimum of 41 percent, the percent of Americans who call themselves pro-life is now at 49 percent.

Trump also said that only twelve percent of Americans support abortion under any circumstance. This made it seem like, because the number of Americans who support abortion rights is so small, support of abortion is automatically wrong and unpopular. This is false. Gallup found that, currently, 29 percent of Americans support abortion under any circumstance, and 49 percent consider themselves pro-choice.

To top it all off, Trump told the marchers that “right now, in a number of states, the law allows babies to be born from his or her mother’s womb in the ninth month.” This is also, very obviously, false. All states and all countries allow babies to be born in the ninth month of the pregnancy. In fact, nature allows this. It is how all babies are born. Although this claim came across as completely idiotic, it isn’t difficult to understand what Trump was trying to say. He probably meant to tell the crowd that many states allow late-term abortions to be performed in the eighth or ninth month of the pregnancy. This is false. Of the approximate 1 million abortions performed in the U.S. every year, only 1.3 percent are late-term. Virtually all of those are conducted because of very severe defects or a threat to the mother’s life. Women aren’t carrying fetuses around for eight or nine months in order to abort them at the last minute.

It is clear that Donald Trump did not deliver a fact-based, accurate speech at the March for Life on January 19. He delivered a careless speech that was full of bias and assumptions. If he had used accurate facts to support his pro-life stance, it would be a completely different speech, and this article would not have had to be written.

Photo: The White House / Youtube

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