Gov. Ralph Northam

Gov. Ralph Northam (D)

A push by Virginia Democrats to loosen restrictions on late-term abortions is erupting into a fierce partisan clash because of a viral video in which a lawmaker acknowledges her legislation would allow abortions up until moments before birth.

Gov. Ralph Northam added gas to the fire Wednesday by describing a hypothetical situation in a radio interview where an infant who is severely deformed or unable to survive after birth could be left to die. That prompted accusations from prominent Republicans that he supports infanticide.

Democrats said their views were being deliberately mischaracterized by the GOP for political gain.

“Republicans in Virginia and across the country are trying to play politics with women’s health, and that is exactly why these decisions belong between a woman and her physician, not legislators, most of whom are men,” Northam spokeswoman Ofirah Yheskel said in a statement.

Republicans countered that Democrats were upset because their “extreme” views on abortion were being made clear to the public.

“What my Democratic colleagues are most concerned about is what this moment actually revealed. It was a moment of unbridled honesty about their agenda,” said Republican Del. Todd Gilbert, referring to a video exchange between him and Democratic Del. Kathy Tran.

In the video recorded by the Republican Standard, Gilbert asks Tran whether her legislation would let a pregnant woman who is dilating request an abortion if a doctor certified that the woman’s mental health was impaired.

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

Existing state law does not put an absolute time limit on abortions and Tran’s legislation does not alter that.

Her legislation would reduce the number of doctors who would have to certify late-term abortions are needed from three to one. It would also delete the requirement that doctors determine that continuing a pregnancy would “substantially and irremediably” impair a woman’s health. Instead doctors would only have to certify that the woman’s health was impaired.

Supporters said the changes in law would help reduce the bureaucratic burdens women face when dealing with difficult decisions involving late-term abortions, which often involve serious medical complications.

“We must trust women and their health care providers,” Tran said at a Monday subcommittee hearing, where her exchange with Gilbert was recorded.

Opponents of the legislation, which has failed in both the state House and Senate, said it would give essentially allow for late abortions on demand.

Prominent Republicans and conservative media outlets helped spread the video exchange to a wide audience, with more than 2 million views as of Wednesday.

“What is happening in our country. This literally makes me sick to my stomach,” tweeted Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, in response to the video.

Northam was asked about the video exchange during a regular radio appearance on WTOP-FM Wednesday.

The governor, who is a pediatric neurologist, defended the legislation and noted that late-term abortions are usually done because the infant is severely deformed or unable to survive after birth.

Northam said that if a woman were to desire an abortion as she’s going into labor, the baby would be “resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue” between doctors and the mother, leaving open what would happen next.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was one of several Republicans to denounce the comments, tweeting that Northam is openly supporting legal infanticide.

Yheskel, the governor’s spokeswoman, said Northam was only trying to describe the “tragic or difficult circumstances” involved in a late-term abortion.

“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.

Republican House Speaker Kirk Cox gave a floor speech — which speakers almost never do — Wednesday where he publicly scolded himself for not doing more to restrict abortions and said he worried Virginia was on the verge of adopting abortion laws similar to those in liberal states. New York just approved an abortion-law overhaul that includes a provision permitting late-term abortions when a woman’s health is endangered.

Republicans currently have a narrow majority in the Virginia General Assembly. Virginia is one of only a handful of states to hold legislative elections later this year and Democrats have a strong chance of taking control of the legislature.

President Donald Trump said he thought the controversy surrounding Tran and Northam’s comments would be a boost to conservatives.

“This is going to lift up the whole pro-life movement like maybe it’s never been lifted up before,” Trump said in an interview with The Daily Caller.

(30) comments

jke

Thanks for the list Western Sky. Ameriagirl stop we do understand.

Sir Lunch Alot

Virginia's faces of evil .............. Satan's servants ................... God help these poor souls .

WesternSky

Wowza! Northam is going down hard.

scottva

I'd like to give Northam credit, he has towed the Liberal line of infanticide and racism exactly how they started. He is the only Liberal I can think of that is openly attached to the Dems legacy platforms. Sure others are as well BUT not so openly and for the world to see, more under the cover of the night.

romano

Brought to you by today's Democrat party. The insanity is not just at a leadership level...this is is who Democrats are now. Scary...

Loudoun4Trump

Let me get this straight...Pelosi says walls are immoral, but killing live kids is moral? Wow - welcome to the new democrat party....

BobOhneiserEsq

The willingness for any elected official to remain quiet or worse yet support something they honestly believe is wrong is a good reason for independents to come out in droves this coming November and VOTE!!! If the lack of brain waves are used to determine death how can the initiation of brain waves not be considered life? VIABILITY is not just a phrase it means that person regardless of gestation point is real and has every right to live in this world as much as any of us do. What happened to husband marital rights in this left wing discussion? It is time to vote on issues not just which party gives you a sample ballot as you enter the school on election day.

Jeanne T

Yesterday a reporter asked Nancy Pelosi, “You often talk about the diversity of viewpoints in the Democratic caucus. There are pro-life Democrats in your group. Considering the comments from Governor Northam yesterday, how does that make it harder for pro-life Democrats in the party and does that cause problems?”

Pelosi responded, “I’m sorry, I just don’t know what he said yesterday."

Translation: "I can’t justify it and don’t know what to say."

However, lest there be others out there who are claiming ignorance over the Governor's comments, here's what Ralph said:

"Infanticide is allowed in Virginia - just make sure you get a receipt from Planned Parenthood so you can deduct your campaign contributions on that tax return. Oh yeah, you have to drop a dependent on the 1040 and make sure your Virginia tax return is square too. We need the money."

amerigirl

Are you aware that the only changes from the current law in Virginia that already allows this procedure is that you would only need 1 physician to consult instead of 2, and it would not have to take place at a hospital? It isn't a law he made up, it is already on the books .It has to do with the baby being viable, capable of living outside the womb, and consideration of the mothers chances of death from the pregnancy. There is alot going on in the world and you expect every politician to be aware of them the moment it happens?

Jeanne T

"you would only need 1 physician to consult instead of 2, and it would not have to take place at a hospital"


And you consider that to be an improvement?

"It isn't a law he made up, it is already on the books"

No one said Northam made it up. What is your point?

"It has to do with the baby being viable, capable of living outside the womb, and consideration of the mothers chances of death from the pregnancy."

What an astonishingly ignorant statement. At least you admit it's a baby. Isn't it?

There is alot going on in the world and you expect every politician to be aware of them the moment it happens?

And to whom are you addressing this question?

workhardgetahead

The loon fringe speaks and who isn't surprised of the defense of this immoral and radical procedure.

tolerantleft

I guess we’re returning to legalized back alley abortions. Disgusting.

WesternSky

This is not an accurate comment/statement.

feathers

David Reid of Ashburn (District 32) was a co-sponsor of this bill. Just remember that this fall! In the meantime I'm tracking his next public event and suggest that anyone who cares about innocent children does the same. We need to be heard loud and clear!

scottva

@feathers, count me in. Read Reid's comments in the other LTM article related to this topic. Not only is he a liar but he is stupid and his comments were completely contradicted by his colleague Del. Adams earlier in the day that he apparently missed. Although not sure how because it was all over the place

heyyousleaze

If they keep raising the age for abortions, then we will eventually get legalized murder of kids up to age 18. I can see the argument: "Yes I shot my lazy, good-for-nothing teenager. But it's not murder, it's just extreme late term abortion!"

tolerantleft

Where’s amerigirl? The county wonders

workhardgetahead

Who cares? Shes in favor of it too.

RoundHillGuy

Dems will regurgitate talking points about how this is protecting Women's reproductive rights but really you're murdering a child that was delivered and is now in the world. No amount of political talking points can justify this Democrats.

jke

Murder, Imp!

westLOUDOUNer

The democratic party has lost their moral compass.

tolerantleft

Democrats stand for infanticide. Period. I’d like to see how that can be defended.

workhardgetahead

Nice to see the LTM covering real news. This is what the Socialist, Communist, Democrats are all about. A Southern Wall is immoral but killing a newly born baby right out of the womb is somehow morally acceptable. Down with all Democrats.

ace10

The Democratic party pushes onward to new lows.

Jeanne T

FTA: "In the video recorded by the Republican Standard, Gilbert asks Tran whether her legislation would let a pregnant woman who is dilating request an abortion if a doctor certified that the woman’s mental health was impaired. “My bill would allow that, yes,” Tran said. Existing state law does not put an absolute time limit on abortions and Tran’s legislation does not alter that."

Ms. Tran has four young children. How will she one day explain this to them?

And by the way, on the same day she proposed this ghastly bill, she also submitted House Bill No. 2495 to save, wait for it, caterpillars:

"A BILL to amend and reenact § 15.2-2403 of the Code of Virginia and to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Article 1 of Chapter 9 of Title 15.2 a section numbered 15.2-926.4, relating to cankerworms; eradication; prohibition on spraying during certain months."

Interesting priorities you've got there, Ms. Tran.

She's also apparently deleted all of her social media in the ensuing backlash. But we aren't stupid.

scottva

I think it is critical for my two teens to be aware of Liberalism and how radical things are today. When my daughter read that Tran submitted a bill to save caterpillars on the same day she submitted a bill allowing the murder of babies, she looked at me like, "uhhh, WTF?" and she'd be right. Murdered babies ok, murdered caterpillars not ok.

workhardgetahead

Just the same, Southern Wall to keep people out is immoral while killing babies is somehow moral. I'm done with Socialist, liberal Communist (Democrats). They must be eradicated from all political office

WesternSky

Should just focus on Del. Tran.

Here area all the Patrons Newly elected Jennifer B. Boysko is one of TWO in the Senate.


2019 SESSION
HB 2491 Abortion; eliminate certain requirements.
HOUSE PATRONS
Kathy K.L. Tran (chief patron)
Dawn M. Adams
Hala S. Ayala
Jennifer Carroll Foy
Lee J. Carter
Wendy W. Gooditis
Elizabeth R. Guzman
Patrick A. Hope
Jerrauld C. "Jay" Jones
Kaye Kory
Paul E. Krizek
Mark H. Levine
Alfonso H. Lopez
Delores L. McQuinn
Sam Rasoul
David A. Reid
Debra H. Rodman
Marcus B. Simon
Cheryl B. Turpin
Roslyn C. Tyler
Schuyler T. VanValkenburg

SENATE PATRONS
Jennifer B. Boysko
Jennifer L. McClell

feathers

Honest question, how many of these delegates have children of their own?

Duncan Idaho

Nothing could get me to support Trump more in 2020 than what is going on in NY and VA right now on with the push to legalize infanticide.

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