Ron DeSantis’ abortion survivor ‘Penny’ who was ‘discarded in a pan’ breaks cover to dispel speculation that Florida governor invented her story for GOP debate: ‘My answer to that is the fact that I did exist’
A Florida woman whose story Ron DeSantis used in the Republican primary debate to emphasize his anti-abortion stance has dismissed speculation that the Florida governor fabricated her story, stating, “My answer to that would be the fact that I indeed exist.’
DeSantis said during the Aug. 23 debate in Milwaukee that his pro-life views were shaped in part by meeting “Penny,” whose parents tried to abort her.
Many assumed the anecdote was apocryphal, but the woman was quickly identified as anti-abortion activist Miriam “Penny” Hopper.
Hopper’s remarkable story is impossible to verify, but she has been telling for years how she was saved by her grandmother from a botched abortion in 1955.
“I know a lady in Florida named Penny,” DeSantis said. She survived multiple abortion attempts. She was thrown away in a pan. Fortunately, her grandmother rescued her and took her to another hospital.’
Hopper told her story again on Thursday Fox News digitaland said it was “exciting” to hear that DeSantis had mentioned her in front of an audience of 11 million people.
“You know you’ve known your story all your life, but you’re not the only one telling a story, having stories to tell,” she said.
“I was very humbled by it.”
Miriam “Penny” Hopper said Thursday she was “excited” and “humbled” when she was named by Ron DeSantis during the Aug. 23 debate
DeSantis is on August 23, telling the audience the story of ‘Penny’
Hopper said she hoped to use the new spotlight on her story to campaign against abortion.
“I have friends who chose not to have an abortion, and that child became a blessing in their lives,” she told Fox.
‘Even my father didn’t want me. Not only was I a failed home abortion, but when I was transported to the Lakeland region, he went there and tried to take me away, thinking I was going to be a burden.
“As a kid, I knew my dad didn’t want me as a baby because he told me, ‘I didn’t want you. But I love you now.”
Hopper told the website that as her father lay dying, he “looked at me and said, ‘Honey, I don’t know what I would have done without you.’
She added, “So all the pain and all the rejection and learning my story, it made it all worth it.”
“Both my parents loved me, and I love them dearly.
“And I have a brother who is my best friend. And we have a very close family. So forgiveness is a wonderful force in life.’
When DeSantis told the story onstage, critics took to it, accusing the 44-year-old candidate of lying.
Steve Schmidt, founder of The Lincoln Project, wrote of X: “The story of Penny finding DeSantis in the pan is ridiculous and clearly untrue. It should be looked at by the media.’
Jill Filipovic, a journalist and author, said, “I understand that politicians lie, but DeSantis’ story about ‘Penny’, a woman who he says survived multiple abortion attempts and was rescued from a pan by her grandmother (???? ), is It’s just such a bizarre and impossible story, it’s amazing that every human being is so gullible.’
James Gibney, a reporter at Bloomberg Opinion, added, “Which reporter will Penny go looking for. DeSantis unsure about direct questions about abortion.”
Hopper appeared in a 2020 pro-life campaign video and told her story, explaining how the story was based on what her family told her.
There seems to be no documentation to confirm this, and those involved – her mother, aunt, father and grandmother – are deceased.
DeSantis can be seen Wednesday night during the Fox News-hosted debate
Hopper said so her mother, 23 weeks pregnant, sought medical attention at a central Florida clinic in 1955 because of bleeding and other complications. Abortion was illegal at the time.
The doctor who examined her said he couldn’t hear a heartbeat.
He induced labor, and Hopper said her parents were told: “You don’t want this baby to live; if he lives, he will be a burden to you all your life.’
Hopper said the doctor told a nurse to dispose of the baby “dead or alive,” and that, as a newborn weighing one pound and 11 ounces, she was taken by a nurse who “put me in a bedpan on the back porch of the clinic.”
When her grandmother and aunt arrived, they found newborn Hopper, and her grandmother called the police and then took her to the hospital.
Medical experts told the New York Times that a baby born in 1955 at 23 weeks had very little chance of survival.
In April, DeSantis signed a new bill banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy — a measure progressives have used against him during his presidential bid.
Almost 60 now percent of babies born after 23 weeks survive if they receive the most modern treatment in a neonatal intensive care unit.
DeSantis’ team told the newspaper that he had met Hopper, and her story had a deep impact on him.
In April, Florida’s governor signed a new bill banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy — a measure progressives have used against him during his presidential bid.
The six-week ban has sparked controversy in states where it has been enacted nationwide because it is often too early for a woman to determine if she is pregnant.