On Friday, January 19th, President Trump delivered an anti-abortion speech to commemorate Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that effectively legalized abortion in the United States. Trump's speech was broadcast live on television and onto giant screen across the National Mall as anti-abortion activists marched.
Perhaps the pressure got to President Trump, who flubbed one of the speeches most important lines in a pretty significant way:
As millions watched, the President claimed:
Right now, in a number of states, the 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.
To be fair, he's not wrong. In fact, according to scientists, most babies are born around the 9 month mark - it is in fact, so common, that no states have any laws outlawing this act.
Shit - as an obstetrician, I have been delivering babies in their 9th month for years and had no idea it was wrong 🙄👶🏻— Fiona Mattatall (@FionaMattatall) January 19, 2018
Many believe Trump intended to say "torn from their mother's womb at nine months," alluding to late-term abortions, which he denounced throughout the speech.
Twitter was less than forgiving of Trump's slip of the tongue:
The President of the United States of America, the most powerful individual on the planet, just condemned babies that were born in the ninth month, live on TV and to an anti-abortion crowd.— Mike P Williams 🌹 (@Mike_P_Williams) January 19, 2018
Now trying telling me he’s compos mentis and remotely fit for office.
Demonstrating again he is truly a very stable genius and, like, really smart, Trump misread the teleprompter to reveal to a crowd of anti-abortion extremists that the laws of some states actually ALLOW A BABY TO BE BORN in the ninth month of pregnancy. Open mouth, insert foot. https://t.co/Y0qopCarAz— Dario Navarro (@darionavarro111) January 19, 2018
Though Trump's claim regarding births at 9 months wasn't quite in line with his core message, it was also among the more factually accurate statements he made during the address. Quartz published a fact-check of Donald Trump's statistics, and (no surprise), most of them were a bit skewed.
The Guttmacher Institute, "a nonprofit reproductive health research organization that supports abortion rights," claims that only 1.3% of abortions occur on or after the 21-week mark. Of those abortions, none are "ripped out" of wombs (as Trump claimed during his Presidential debate with Hillary Clinton). At that point, the fetus would be removed either by inducing labor or through emergency C-section. Dr. Aaron Caughey, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at Oregon Health & Science University, said of Trump's claim:
It is, of course, such an absurd thing to say.
Perhaps President Trump should get some facts from 1999's Donald Trump.