Monday, April 29, 2019

The President Executes Harmful Redirect

“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.”

These were the words President Trump spoke at a rally on Saturday night in Wisconsin in reference to late-term abortion legislation that is being debated across the country. He then proceeded to make a throat-slitting motion. 

That's our president. I shouldn't be surprised anymore. I guess I'm not. But it's still troubling (just place that sentence on repeat for pretty much every day of his presidency).

The president's words were dangerous. They were inflammatory. They were lies. I have talked to medical professionals who run the gamut regarding their personal stances on abortion, and read mutiple articles by others, and they agree.

I understand the rational arguments against abortion. I understand the passion felt by so many to pass legislation that further restricts a woman's ability to have an abortion. I deeply feel the matters of life and of faith that are involved. But, when the president makes obscene comments like the ones he delivered over the weekend, he does a disservice to those who are capable of having a thoughtful discussion while holding differing perspectives. I think he harms the anti-abortion movement. Truth has to play at least some role in our policy decisions. 

(Side note - Speaking of truth on this issue, my thirteen-year-old daughter recently was told by an adult that Democrats want doctors to be able to kill babies right after they are born by delivering them, placing them on a metal table, and stabbing them over and over again.)

More importantly and painfully then just typical games with the truth, the president harms and belittles those women who have dealt with the trauma of a stillborn birth. He minimizes the grief of mothers who are told their babies have fatal conditions and will not survive outside the womb. He makes it sound like women and their doctors swaddle the baby in a fuzzy blanket, stare at the infant for a moment or two, and then, if the woman decides she doesn't feel like being a parent after getting a good look at the kid, the doctor cuts the baby's throat. 

I doubt the president has taken the time to understand what happens in these situations. Like his tendencies to whip a crowd into a frenzy by leading cheers of "BUILD THE WALL!" and "LOCK HER UP!", Trump just wants to strut on the stage and get a reaction. He wants people to chant and scream on his cue. I really don't think he cares whether abortion is legal or not. Or, for that matter, if that silly wall actually gets built. Truth is, I think if Trump could stand in front of a crowd and yell "I WANT OPEN BORDERS NOW!" and be met with the same adulation and raucous applause, he would say it.

Politicians on both sides of the aisle who remain silent while Trump spouts his dangerous nonsense are complicit in the lies. Guilt by association. This is a time when someone like pro-life Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) who has been beautifully consistent in his opposition to a Trump presidency and who also sports a 100% rating from National Right to Life, should speak up. Or maybe just anyone with a bit of human decency would do.