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.
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.”