The right-wing has spent the past several days losing their minds over a misunderstood comment from a Democratic governor. Conservative media pounced on the opportunity to rail against Democrats as nothing more than a bunch of baby killers and twist the situation to match their agenda.
Such was the case with co-host of "The View," Meghan McCain, who took to Twitter with her own inaccuracies.
"We are one of only seven nations in the world, along with North Korea and China, to allow abortion on demand after 20 weeks. Our existing law is extreme, and as a pro-life American, I cannot support anyone who supports it," McCain tweeted Thursday. "It is a battleground culture war issue, as we see in New York, where the Democratic standard is abortion on demand, taxpayer-funded, and if you don't like it, leave. True leaders don't play pretend about our divisions. They lead."
When one OB/GYN saw McCain's tweet, he worked to set her straight. Sadly, she ignored him and continued to spread false information.
"Hi @MeghanMcCain. I am an OB/GYN, abortion provider & researcher," replied Dr. Daniel Grossman. "I'd like to clarify some facts: 65 countries allow abortion at this stage in cases of fetal malformations or anomalies. The US doesn't have access to early abortion like many countries do."
He noted that her tweet suggested she doesn't want the United States to be an outlier, but that "78 percent of high-income countries provide public funding for abortion, making the US an outlier."
Most anti-choice activists focus on so-called "late-term" abortions so that they can paint it as murdering a fetus as it is born. Despite their stance, this isn't how it works.
"There are many reasons why patients have abortions after 20 weeks," he explained. "Complications happen as the pregnancy progresses, my patient's health is impacted, and we perform tests to make sure the fetus is healthy. This is why this decision is made based on medical advice, not politics. Additionally, I see patients who need abortions after 20 weeks because the restrictions to abortion made it difficult for them to get care earlier. Everything from medically unnecessary waiting periods and ultrasound laws to shuttering of clinics and insurance bans create delays."
Indeed, many women are put into desperate situations searching for ways to have the procedure in other states because theirs doesn't have a clinic that provides the option. Texas has worked to pass laws that restrict clinics and place added burdens on such clinics.
"In fact, we found that there was an increase in second and third-trimester abortions because of the laws in Texas (which were later found unconstitutional) that made access to first trimester abortions difficult," said Dr. Grossman, linking to a Texas news site.
"Whether or not we ourselves would have a later abortion is not the question. The question is whether or not we're able to show empathy for the patient making that decision. It's my job as a doctor to support my patients in making the decisions that are best for their situation," he explained. "When we have this debate, we must center the patients in the conversation, and use evidence-based research and facts to inform policy."
He told her he would love to speak to her and the other hosts at "The View" to help explain the facts and research so that misinformation doesn't persist.
Thus far, McCain has not responded.
Hi @MeghanMcCain. I am an OB/GYN, abortion provider & researcher. I'd like to clarify some facts: 65 countries allo… https://t.co/u91wHM9IQL— Dr. Daniel Grossman (@Dr. Daniel Grossman)1548947772.0
From your tweet, you suggest that you don't want the US to be a global outlier on abortion policy. Did you know tha… https://t.co/EcjFx9IwQ2— Dr. Daniel Grossman (@Dr. Daniel Grossman)1548947773.0
Additionally, I see patients who need abortions after 20 weeks because the restrictions to abortion made it difficu… https://t.co/XGFolxNOpK— Dr. Daniel Grossman (@Dr. Daniel Grossman)1548947773.0
In fact, we found that there was an increase in second and third trimester abortions because of the laws in Texas (… https://t.co/M8lFv42BdY— Dr. Daniel Grossman (@Dr. Daniel Grossman)1548947773.0
When we have this debate, we must center the patients in the conversation, and use evidence-based research and fact… https://t.co/1qAC2uc1NZ— Dr. Daniel Grossman (@Dr. Daniel Grossman)1548947774.0