“We had the case of the Governor of Virginia where he stated he would execute a baby after birth,” Trump said during the State of the Union speech in Washington on Feb. 5.
“In this particular example, if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired,” Gov. Ralph Northam said during a Jan. 30 interview on WTOP. “And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
Trump, who has been ardently pro-life since announcing he was running for president, said during the speech that his administration is working on a plan for nationwide paid family leave “so that every new parent has the chance to bond with their newborn child.”
“There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our nation saw in recent days,” he added.
“Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth. These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world.”
VA gov on abortion this morning:
“If a mother is in labor…the infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians & mother” pic.twitter.com/cc15pVLjIQ
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) January 30, 2019
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation on Jan. 22 that allows mothers to abort children up until birth if seen as necessary to protect the life or health of the mother. The term “health” was not defined in the new law. Cuomo called the passing of the bill a “historic victory for New Yorkers and for our progressive values.”
Trump then slammed Northam’s comments.
“To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb,” he said. “Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children—born and unborn—are made in the holy image of God.”
Trump’s comments came a day after a Democratic senator blocked a bill that would guarantee care for babies that survive abortion, which was introduced in the uproar following Northam’s comments.
Late-Term Abortions Opposed by Majority
While several states move or attempt to move toward allowing abortion up to a child’s birth, the majority of Americans don’t support abortions in the second or third trimesters.
In the latest poll by Gallup, released in 2018, 60 percent of respondents said that abortions in the first three months should be legal but 72 percent said that abortions should be illegal in the second trimester.
And 87 percent said that abortions should be illegal in the final trimester, or in the final three months before full term.
Gallup did not ask if people supported killing babies after they were born, as was suggested by Gov. Northam.
“Most Americans generally see some reason for abortion to be legal, but far more think it should be legal in the first trimester than in the second or third,” Gallup summarized.
The view has held for decades. In 2003, for instance, 68 percent of respondents said that abortions should be illegal in the second trimester and 84 percent of people said abortions should be illegal in the third trimester.