[guest post by Dana]
Last week I wrote about New York’s ghoulish celebration at the passage of the Reproductive Health Act which removed any restrictions for abortion to the point of birth. It’s no surprise that other states are now following suit.
Kathy Tran (D), a lawmaker in the Virginia House of Delegates, introduced a bill (House Bill 2491) also allowing women to get an abortion up until birth:
A new bill proposed in the Virginia legislature would loosen restrictions on abortions during the third trimester of pregnancy, and allow abortions during the second trimester to take place outside hospitals.
Under current Virginia law, abortions during the third trimester require a determination by a doctor and two consulting physicians that continuing the pregnancy would likely result in the woman’s death or “substantially and irremediably” impair her mental or physical health.
The bill, proposed in the Virginia House of Delegates by Democrat Kathy Tran, would require only one doctor to make the determination that the pregnancy threatens the woman’s life or health. The proposed legislation would also eliminate the requirement that abortions during the second trimester be performed in a state-licensed hospital.
Here is video of Tran being questioned about the bill by Republican Todd Gilbert:
Tran explicitly – and appallingly – admits that her bill would allow a woman to have an abortion while she is in labor, and at the point of birth. Here is part of the exchange with Gilbert:
Tran: So, the suggestion that we’ve made in the bill is to say it’s in the 3rd trimester, you know, with the certification of the physician.
Gilbert: So how late in the 3rd trimester would you be able to do that?
Tran: You know it’s very unfortunate that our physician witnesses were not able to attend today to speak specifically…
Gilbert: No I’m talking about your bill. How late in the 3rd trimester could a physician perform an abortion if he indicated it would impair the mental health of the woman.
Tran: Or physical health.
Gilbert: Okay, I’m talking about the mental health.
Tran: Through the 3rd trimester. The 3rd trimester goes all the way up to 40 weeks.
Gilbert: Okay, but to the end of the 3rd trimester.
Tran: Yup, I don’t think we have a limit in the bill.
Gilbert: So, um, where it’s obvious that a woman is about to give birth. She has physical signs that she is about to give birth. Would that still be a point at which she could request an abortion if she was so-certified…she’s dilating.
Tran: Mr. Chairman, that would be a, you know, a decision that the doctor, the physician and the woman would make at that point.
Gilbert: I understand that. I’m asking if your bill allows that.
Tran: My bill would allow that, yes.
It gets worse, much worse. In response to the push back from the pro-life community at this monstrosity, Governor Northam, who supports the bill, weighed in during a radio interview, and went even further than Tran did when discussing her bill as he brought up a post-birth abortion scenario where the baby is born alive:
Northam: “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.
“In this particular example, if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen,” Northam said. “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.”
“We want the government not to be involved in these types of decisions,” Northam said. “We want the decision to be made by the mothers and their providers, and this is why, Julie, that 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.”
“There may be” is not an absolute, only-if situation. If one doctor determines the mother’s “mental health” is in question or would be adversely impacted by delivering her baby, she could have a late-term abortion right then and there. Even as she is dilating. And does the governor believe that “severe deformities” naturally preclude an individual from leading a productive and fulfilled life? Further, if a baby is born alive and survived the birth and is no longer within the mother’s body, does he or she not have the right to live?
What I take from Gov. Northam’s “reassurances” of a born-alive baby’s laughably humane treatment, is that we’re now supposed to feel good about some sliver of humanity after a barbaric act of murder has taken place. But being left alone to die a slow and painful death reassures no one. The governor, who is also, unbelievably, a pediatric neurologist, evidences his own lack of humanity with these words.
For Godsake, this isn’t hard: a baby born alive is a human being, replete with a soul, a spirit, full humanity and personhood. As I said last week: the goal has always been to normalize this horrific standard medical care, dehumanize its innocent victims by denying their undeniable humanity, and remove any remnant of a long-held moral respect for the sanctity of life from our culture. Safe, legal and rare was just a cheap gimmick to make the pro-abortionists feel righteous about their death march and convince others that there would always be limits to abortion. Clearly, evil has been unleashed, and the obvious trend does not bode well for us as a nation if we are to be judged by how our most vulnerable members are treated.
Gov. Northam’s spokewoman sought to explain the governor’s comments:
Ofirah Yheskel, a spokeswoman for Northam, said “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,” she said.
John Sexton pushes back:
To be clear, Gov. Northam may have been talking about a non-viable baby as his spokeswoman claims. In fact, that was my initial take on his comments and I said so on Twitter. However, it’s not clear that the bill itself makes any such distinction. And if the bill doesn’t make that distinction then it doesn’t actually matter if Gov. Northam introduced it in his answer (probably as a way to sidestep the issue). Because if what Northam describes were to happen to a viable baby, it would be infanticide. And you don’t have to be a conservative to find that objectionable.
And while the Washington Post necessarily focused its attention on anything but what takes place in the womb during a third trimester abortion with their dramatic accusatory lede: “Va. Gov. Northam faces fierce conservative backlash over late term abortion bill,” I think if there is anything worth getting fierce and loud about, it’s legalized abortion to the point of birth.
Update: Thankfully, this bill was defeated by the Republican majority.
(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)