Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump’s White House counselor, made it clear on Friday morning that she is not done spreading “alternative facts.”
In less than two minutes, during an interview with the hosts of Fox & Friends, Conway managed to share three anti-abortion myths with the show’s hosts. Fortunately, the folks at Media Matters for America quickly debunked Conway’s claims with something the Queen of Spin appears to be unfamiliar with: actual facts.
First, Conway argued about the commonality of “partial-birth” and “sex-selective” abortions. In reality, “partial-birth” abortions — a non-medical term used by the right to appeal to the emotions of those who are against abortion — are extremely uncommon. Ninety-nine percent of abortions take place in the United States before the 20th week of pregnancy, and late-term abortions only take place when the mother’s life is in jeopardy or the fetus is considered non-viable.
Regarding “sex-selective” abortions, there is little evidence to suggest that they are something that happens at all, let alone are common. According to a 2014 report from the National Asian Pacific Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) and Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), “The key empirical support for sex-selective abortion bans in the United States comes from a study of census data that is now almost 15 years old.”
Conway also claimed that taxpayers are the ones paying for abortions. When she made this claim, she either willfully ignored or was unaware of something called the Hyde Amendment. Implemented in 1976, the Hyde Amendment prevents the use of government funds — e.g., Medicaid — to pay for abortion procedures.
Finally, Conway rounded out her story by arguing that fetuses aborted at 20 weeks can feel pain. This is perhaps the most controversial of the three myths that Conway shared on Fox & Friends. Some scientists have argued that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks; however, many others have suggested the opposite, making the argument questionable at best
Many doctors whose research has been used to justify abortion bans have also spoken out against their work being used to bolster the right’s anti-choice arguments.
There is nothing new or surprising about Conway’s anti-abortion rhetoric, but its frightening all the same. She is spouting the same emotion-fueled nonsense that Trump shared throughout his campaign, specifically during the third presidential debate when he claimed that Hillary Clinton was in favor of, “in the ninth month,” ripping “the baby out of the womb of the mother.”
Trump has already signed an anti-abortion executive order, reinstating the “global gag rule,” which cuts off U.S. funding to international NGOs that provide abortion services. When he signed this order, Trump made a statement about what the next four years will be like for women in the United States, and he is being helped along by Kellyanne Conway and her alternative facts. Conway holds a position of power, and her decision to use her platform to spread lies should make everyone wary.
Watch Conway’s Fox and Friends interview in the video below, courtesy of Media Matters for America.
Featured image is a screenshot from the video.