At least four of the eight candidates on stage falsely claimed that people are getting abortions up until birth. But the Florida governor went a little further.
DeSantis claimed to know a woman named “Penny” who he said “survived multiple abortion attempts” and “was left discarded in a pan.”
He added: “Fortunately, her grandmother saved her and brought her to a different hospital.”
DeSantis then declared that Republicans “are not going to allow abortion all the way up ’til birth,” referring to something that, again, is not actually happening to begin with, no matter what Republican politicians desperate for primary voters might say.
Many people on social media were skeptical that DeSantis’ story is true and that his good friend Penny even exists.
I understand that politicians lie, but DeSantis’s story about “Penny,” a woman he says survived multiple abortion attempts and was rescued from a pan by her grandmother(????), is just such a bizarre and impossible story, it’s stunning that any human is that gullible.
— Jill Filipovic (@JillFilipovic) August 24, 2023
The story of Penny found in the pan by DeSantis is ludicrous, and obviously untrue. It should be looked into by the media.
— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) August 24, 2023
I for one, would like to meet the aborted fetus that was pulled off a pan, rushed to a hospital, and saved by her grandmother.
I feel like a Trump insider fed DeSantis that bullshit and he just ran with it. Lol
— Star Stuff (@BernieBroStar) August 24, 2023
Dear, @GovRonDeSantis WHO is this Penny person you made claims about AND where is she? You had to know ppl would ask & if she is real did you have her PERMISSION to bring her up to America?? We know you don’t respect women’s rights. @RonDeSantishttps://t.co/NWpUp6qmbB
— Sara Downing (@Blacksheepdown7) August 24, 2023
ron desantis said he knows a lady named penny from florida who "survived multiple abortion attempts" and was left discarded in a pan........... then he didn't speak again for like 10 minutes? pic.twitter.com/4ySIYvgXZh
— Mira Gonzalez (@miragonz) August 24, 2023
HuffPost reached out to the DeSantis campaign to ask about the governor’s friendship with Penny and whether they would make her available for interviews, but no one immediately responded.
DeSantis may have been referring to an anti-abortion rights activist from Michigan named Miriam “Penny” Hopper, who has claimed she was born in 1955 at 23 weeks old after her parents decided to have an abortion.
Jezebel notes that while Hopper’s story has formed the basis of a series of so-called “Born Alive” bills in various state legislatures and in Congress, it “has never been fact-checked, probably because it includes no actual facts to check.”