Stochastic terrorism: Speaking at a political rally earlier this week in Wisconsin, a dishonest and irresponsible President Trump claims mothers and doctors are executing babies.
Speaking at the rally in Wisconsin on Saturday, Trump repeated the false and deplorable claim that mothers and doctors sometimes “execute” new born babies:
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.
There is no doubt that Trump’s claim is a despicable lie often spread by dishonest, forced-birth, anti-abortion extremists. Indeed, The New York Times, CNN, PolitiFact, and other reputable news outlets all agree that Trump’s claim is inflammatory and false.
Commenting on the false claim, the New Statesman reports:
This is a horrific lie. The problem isn’t just that it is factually wrong. What he describes does not happen; no one is advocating for the “execution” of newborns. It’s also not just that it is a gross distortion of what actually happens when parents are confronted with the earth-shattering knowledge that their baby will not live for more than a few hours, or perhaps a few days, from birth. As this devastating Twitter thread by a neonatal intensive care unit nurse illustrates, Trump minimises both the suffering of the parents and the efforts made by neonatal doctors and nurses to ease that pain and make seriously ill babies as comfortable as they can be.
The biggest problem is that Trump’s comments coincide with the rise of an extremist anti-abortion movement that has become increasingly unmoored from any rational, facts-based debate and that has escalated its rhetoric to alarming new levels…
Indeed, Trump’s claim is nothing less than an incitement to violence, and a clear case of stochastic terrorism – “the use of mass public communication, usually against a particular individual or group, which incites or inspires acts of terrorism…”
Bottom line: Trump’s false claim that doctors are executing babies is an incitement to violence and an act of stochastic terrorism that puts health care workers at risk and virtually guarantees future violence against abortion providers.