Video: Virginia Governor Appears to Advocate for Killing Live Babies After Birth

Video: Virginia Governor Appears to Advocate for Killing Live Babies After Birth
A newborn lies on his mother's stomach after a delivery at the medical clinic St Vincent de Paul in Lille, on Aug. 17, 2018. (Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images)
Zachary Stieber

The Virginia governor appeared to say that killing children after they were born could be an option under a new bill that Democrats are trying to pass in the state.

“So 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,” said Gov. Ralph Northam during an interview on Jan. 30 on WTOP.

“And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

Trying to clarify his argument, he added that third-trimester abortions are fine if they’re done with the consent of the mother and multiple physicians.

He was responding to a question about comments that Democratic delegate Kathy Tran, the chief sponsor of the Repeal Act, which would legalize abortion up to the point of birth, made during a committee hearing on Monday.

The bill would also remove the requirement that three physicians agree that a woman is in need of a late-term abortion due to the woman’s life, or health, being at severe risk.

“How late in the third trimester could a physician perform an abortion if he indicated that it would impair the mental health of the woman?” Majority Leader Todd Gilbert, a Republican, asked Tran during the hearing

“I mean, through the third trimester,” Tran replied. “The third trimester goes up to 40 weeks.”

“Okay, but to the end of the third trimester?” Gilbert asked. Tran replied, “Yup, I don’t think we have a limit in the bill.”

“Where it’s obvious that a woman is about to give birth, she has physical signs that she’s about to give birth, would that still be a point at which she could request an abortion if she was so certified?” Gilbert asked. “She’s dilating.”

After she said that it would be a decision for the woman and her doctor, Gilbert followed up by asking if the bill would allow an abortion right before an infant was born.

“My bill would allow that, yes,” Tran said.

After a backlash, Tran deleted her Twitter and Facebook accounts.

But she responded on Wednesday in a statement, saying that lawmakers should “trust women to make their own healthcare decisions” and calling questions about her bill “partisan games.”

A Virginia House subcommittee that considered the bill voted it down 5-3 on Jan. 28. Gilbert’s office told anti-abortion group Live Action on Wednesday that the bill will not leave the subcommittee and no further action will be taken on it.

With the public already reeling from Tran’s disclosure, Northam’s comments sent a shockwave through social media, with many users condemning his language.

Late-Term Abortions Opposed by Majority

While several states move or attempt to move toward allowing abortion up to a child’s birth—New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed such a bill into law last week—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 the final three months of birth.

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.
Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news. Contact Zachary at [email protected]
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