President Donald Trump’s anti-abortion rhetoric is getting more extreme by the day.
At a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Saturday night, Trump described a violent scene, claiming that a doctor and mother together decide whether or not to execute a baby after it’s born.
Trump made the claim while criticizing Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) for vetoing a Republican-backed bill that could send a doctor to prison for life if they don’t offer medical care to babies born alive after a failed abortion. He went on to describe how he thinks it works:
The baby is born. The mother meets with the doctor. They take care of the baby. They wrap the baby beautifully, and then the doctor and the mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby. I don’t think so.
For extra emphasis, Trump repeated it again with hand motions — including a guillotine for the execution.
Of course, none of this is actually true.
Trump’s rhetoric — and his support of the bill he criticized Evers for vetoing — assumes that babies really are regularly born alive after abortions, and the patient and doctor together decide to execute them. Neither is reality.
This is all part of a bigger debate about abortions later in pregnancy. It’s not just in Wisconsin, either. A bill to protect so-called “abortion survivors” made it all the way to the Senate in February, thanks to the help of Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
In reality, the majority of abortions take place before 12 weeks, and later abortions are relatively rare — with only 1.4% of abortions taking place at 21 weeks or later. As ThinkProgress previously reported, it’s hard to definitively say why most women and gender minorities who get later abortions do so, but some reasons include fetal abnormalities, increasing restrictions that prevent patients from getting an abortion earlier, and serious medical risks to the pregnant person.
Still, Republicans have focused more and more of their efforts on later abortions in legislation and rhetoric.
Trump has used similar language about later abortions in the past. During his State of the Union speech, for example, he claimed that lawmakers are passing bills to allow “a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth.” And in February, he responded to the failure of Sasse’s “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” by claiming on Twitter that Democrats “don’t mind executing babies AFTER birth.”