President Donald Trump officially opened his 2020 campaign on Tuesday with a stream of misleading anti-choice rhetoric. It’s time to dismantle the propaganda and recognise that abortion care is a woman’s reproductive right, says Christobel Hastings
Anyone prepared for President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign launch this week would have reasonably assumed that the Democratic Party would be in for an intense degree of hostility.
Most people expected Trump to boast of boosting the economy and lowering unemployment rates. Most people expected fervent talk of tax cuts and trade deals. Most people even foreshadowed that Trump would persist with divisive talk of building The Wall along the Mexico border.
What no one was prepared for though, was a searing assault on women’s reproductive rights.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what went down at the Amway Centre in Orlando, where the POTUS peddled misleading abortion rhetoric in front of a 20,000-strong crowd, an issue that is proving bitterly divisive in the United States in the wake of extreme anti-choice legislation being passed in 16 states since the beginning of the year.
In his speech, Trump honed in on the extremely rare cases of abortion care later in pregnancy. Even though it’s been reported that nearly 99% of abortions occur before 21 weeks, Trump spun a twisted narrative suggesting that abortions later on in pregnancy are simply everyday occurrences championed by the Democrats, and worse yet, likened them to infanticide.
“Virtually every top Democrat also supports tax payer funded abortion, right up to the moment of birth,” Trump falsely claimed. “Ripping babies straight from the mother’s womb.
“Leading Democrats have even opposed measures to prevent the execution of children after birth,” he continued.
Trump’s speech makes for difficult listening, not least for his emotive, anti-choice propaganda designed to whip up fervour, dismantle support for reproductive rights and further his own political agenda.
But as Planned Parenthood pointed out in a blog post dispelling the myths in Trump’s speech, associating late-term abortions with the issue of infanticide shows a grotesque disregard for the women and families undergoing abortion care later in their pregnancies, who often do so in exceptional and challenging circumstances, such as when the fetus will not survive, or the mother’s health or life is in grave danger.
“Women and families in these situations face devastating decisions,” the statement reads. “They deserve our compassion and support - not our judgment and certainly not politicians telling them what to do.
More to the point, a woman’s reproductive rights should never be up for debate, not now, and especially not for political gain. Abortion care may be a hot topic in the presidential race, but life-changing healthcare decisions ultimately fall to women and their families. It’s about time Trump realised that.