Updated at 3:40 on Jan. 30 to include a response from Gov. Ralph Northam's office
During a radio interview on Wednesday morning, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) seemed to endorse killing an infant after it has already been delivered alive.
In the scenario described by Northam, a baby would be born alive and resuscitated if necessary, and then doctors and the mother could "have a discussion" which, based on context, would determine whether or not the child would be killed. While pro-life advocates view all abortion as infanticide, what Northam described would be infanticide by any definition.
What's the context?
Last week, Rep. Kathy Tran, a Democrat in Virginia's House of Delegates, proposed legislation that would get rid of state restrictions on abortion. Tran admitted on camera that the legislation would legally allow for abortions up until the mother was actually in labor with the child. The bill was narrowly defeated in committee.
What did he say?
During his interview on WTOP, the host asked him about Tran's legislation and if he supported it.
You know, I wasn't there, Julie, and I certainly can't speak for Delegate Tran, but I would tell you one, first thing I would say is, this is why decisions such as this should be made by providers, physicians, and the mothers and fathers that are involved. There are, you know, when we talk about third trimester abortions, these are done with the consent of, obviously, the mother, with the consent of the physicians. More than one physician by the way. And it's done in cases where there may be severe deformities, there may be a fetus that's non-viable.
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, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.
So I think this was really blown out of proportion. But again, we want the government not to be involved in these types of decisions. We want the decision to be made by the mothers and their providers. And this is why, Julie, legislators, most of whom are men by the way, shouldn't be telling a woman what she should and shouldn't be doing with her body.
Despite Northam mentioning fathers as part of the decision-making process, the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that father's could not prevent abortions from taking place. However, Northam may have been suggesting that fathers take part in the decision-making process in a merely advisory role.
In addition to being governor of Virginia, Northam has worked in pediactric medicine for years, as has his wife.
In a statement to TheBlaze, Northam's communication's director, Ofirah Yheskel, accused "Republicans in Virginia and across the country" of "trying to play politics with women's health." According to Yheskel:
No woman seeks a third trimester abortion except in the case of tragic or difficult circumstances, such as a nonviable pregnancy or in the event of severe fetal abnormalities, and the governor's comments were limited to the actions physicians would take in the event that a woman in those circumstances went into labor. Attempts to extrapolate these comments otherwise is in bad faith and underscores exactly why the governor believes physicians and women, not legislators, should make these difficult and deeply personal medical decisions.