Advance Notice: Briefs

Michigan NICU nurse Julia Pulver’s tweets on Trump’s abortion lie go viral

By: - April 28, 2019 8:27 pm

Donald Trumo (left) and Julia Pulver (right)

At a rally in Wisconsin on Saturday, President Donald Trump unleashed what CNN called an “incendiary falsehood” about mothers and doctors conspiring to kill babies after they’re born.

Trump and other Republicans have been falsely accusing abortion rights supporters of backing “infanticide.” The president took the argument to the extreme at his campaign event.

Julia Pulver

“The baby is born,” Trump said. “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. I don’t think so.”

Julia Pulver, who has been a newborn intensive care unit (NICU) nurse at three Michigan hospitals and unsuccessfully ran as a Democrat for state Senate last year, answered with eight tweets debunking Trump’s claim. She also shared heartbreaking details of her job comforting parents on the loss of their babies. The tweets have gone viral, with almost 40,000 retweets so far.

Pulver told the Advance on Sunday that she was surprised by the “volume, but not in [the] sentiment” because “many, many families have been through this nightmare.”

The Advance asked Pulver what inspired her to tweet her response.

“Unfortunately, we are so used to our president spreading conspiracy theories,” she said. “Many times, they are not about things that I have the unique experience to speak out against, and when I have, it’s been in a general context of, ‘This is morally wrong, factually incorrect, thoroughly un-American,’ etc. — but rarely something I can speak to with specific authority.

“But his bizarre description at his Wisconsin rally last night, that painted a picture of monstrous moms and doctors deciding following birth and care and swaddling, whether or not to ‘execute’ newborns was something I could specifically, personally and professionally dispute,” Pulver continued. “I felt the need to continue to support those parents who turned to me in their worst moments, and continue to champion their little warriors, by making sure everyone unequivocally knew what really happens when babies pass away in hospitals.”

Pulver, a West Bloomfield mother of four, founded the group Women Organize Michigan after the 2016 election. She was defeated by now-state Sen. Jim Runestad (R-White Lake) in a close 2018 election in the 15th District.

“I’ve had overwhelming responses of gratitude from parents, family members and friends who sadly know first hand what this experience is like,” she said.

Pulver said she has been considering another bid for office, but hasn’t made a final decision.

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 21-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 4,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 70 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.

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