Politifact "Fact Checks" Trump's Comments on Northam and Abortion, Again Proving Fact Checkers Need Fact Checking

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, left, accompanied by his wife, Pam, speaks during a news conference in the Governor's Mansion in Richmond, Va., on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019. Resisting widespread calls for his resignation, Northam on Saturday vowed to remain in office after disavowing a racist photograph that appeared under his name in his 1984 medical school yearbook. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA)

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, left, accompanied by his wife, Pam, speaks during a news conference in the Governor’s Mansion in Richmond, Va., on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)


That Politifact and mainstream media news outlets alike have inaccurately “fact checked” President Trump’s comments on Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam’s ghoulish abortion remarks from earlier this year is not new news, but the issue came up again during Trump’s visit to Fayetteville, NC Monday night where he again mentioned the Governor’s extreme position.

Here is what Trump said:

Last night, Trump described Northam as having said, “after the baby was born, the doctor will talk to the mother and make a decision about whether the baby lives.” Unlike some of Trump’s past references to the comments — in which he described Northam as having endorsed allowing doctors to “execute” babies — this summary is fairly accurate. Given the context of the governor’s response, it’s abundantly clear that he condoned permitting at least some infants to die after birth if they were meant to have been aborted a few minutes earlier.

Trump’s claim is indeed consistent with Northam’s postion. Here’s Northam’s actual quote from the January WTOP interview, with bolded emphasis added:

When we talk about third trimester abortions, these are done with the consent of the mother, with the consent of the physician. More than one physician, by the way. And its done in case where there may be severe deformities, where there may be a fetus that is non-viable.

So, in this particular example, if a mother is in labor I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.


Here’s the video clip of him discussing his position:

Seems clear cut, right? Not so much to the geniuses at Politifact, who re-upped their February fact check Monday night:

After quoting Northam word for word, here’s what they wrote about how Trump characterized Northam’s position:

Northam, a physician, never said he would sanction the execution of newborns. What he did say during a radio interview is that in rare, late-pregnancy cases when fetuses are nonviable, doctors deliver the baby, keep it comfortable, resuscitate it if the mother wishes, and then have a “discussion” with the mother.

The issue is that Northam declines to say what that discussion would entail. Trump puts words in the governor’s mouth, saying doctors would urge the mother to let them forcibly kill the newborn, which is a felony in Virginia punishable by a long prison sentence or death.

Trump misstates and exaggerates Northam’s words in ways that fan division. Often, that’s enough for us to torch someone’s pants. But Northam left himself open to some interpretation by declining to clarify his confusing remarks.

So we rate Trump’s statement False.



You simply cannot trust “official” fact checkers when it comes to Democrats. They might get one right once in a blue moon, but even a broken clock is right twice a day.

— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –


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