For most of this week, Virginia Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam was beset with the fallout from comments that seemed to endorse abortion after birth in certain cases. The governor is now consumed by, um, other issues.
That being said, one assumes the bill that Northam was talking about when he made his appalling remarks could theoretically advance toward the governor’s mansion, whoever may be residing there once the repercussions from Northam’s collegiate and postgraduate racism are fully fleshed out. (If you’ve missed that development, check out The Washington Times story here.)
The bill, now tabled, would allow abortion up to the moment of birth and it will still push us further down the slippery slope of devaluing life. And despite the fact that Northam is being disavowed by every Democrat in the country at the moment, they’ll still celebrate if the bill passes — like New York state did after passing similar legislation — even if the current Democratic governor has resigned.
And that slippery slope, as conservative actor James Woods pointed out, is what we should really be talking about.
Woods’ brutal Twitter post came in response to a man tweeting about his grandson.
You’re not in Virginia, I hope. They’re still working on the age limit for skull crushing. https://t.co/fxOX1hV5vy
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) February 1, 2019
Harsh, yes. Extremely. But consider Northam’s words when discussing the bill proposed by Delegate Kathy Tran:
“When we talk about third-trimester abortions, these are done with the consent of the mother, with the consent of 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 which is non-viable,” he said during an interview with WTOP radio in Washington.
“So in this particular example, if the 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 this is what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physician and the mother.”
Northam’s people would later say that he clearly didn’t mean infanticide was an option, merely that options other than termination of life would be discussed with the mother. The governor himself wasn’t willing to discuss what he really meant, simply saying that he didn’t “have any regrets, but I do find that how my comments — I did answer that question. I regret that those comments have been mischaracterized.”
And keep in mind, no Democrat was saying anything about Northam before stories emerged about his medical school yearbook, which showed him in a photo that included a man wearing blackface and a second man dressed in KKK robes. (It’s unclear which racist caricature Northam was portraying in the picture, but either would be mind-bendingly offensive.) None of the officials calling for his resignation has mentioned it, either. In fact, some were even willing to defend the governor and Delegate Tran before the yearbook story came out.
Trump and his Republicans in Richmond are trying to spread shameful lies about Kathy Tran, a tremendous delegate, and @GovernorVA @RalphNortham, a man who served our nation in uniform and dedicated his life to caring for children as a pediatrician. Don’t believe a word of it.
— Mark Herring (@MarkHerringVA) January 31, 2019
That didn’t age well when it comes to Gov. Northam. However, just because Tran didn’t dress up in a symbol of America’s horribly racist past shouldn’t mean she’s off the hook, either. This is who and what Herring, who’s the attorney general of Virginia, was praising:
Virginia House Democrats propose legislation to allow abortions up until the moment of birth
Todd Gilbert (R): Where it’s obvious a woman is about to give birth…would that be a point at which she could still request an abortion?
Kathy Tran (D): My bill would allow that, yes pic.twitter.com/UHgzU3EGDA
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) January 29, 2019
As for now, the proposed legislation likely won’t be taken up this session, and Tran has issued the usual un-apology:
“I was caught off guard and probably wasn’t as artful in the moment as I could have been,” Tran said, according to WTVR-TV. Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn, meanwhile (a Democrat, naturally), said that the footage of Tran speaking was “deliberately misleading” and “part of an orchestrated ambush.”
Again, these are merely the words of the people who’ve said them. Tran’s remarks weren’t a question of artfulness. She bluntly said exactly what the bill would contain. The question was straightforward, not an ambush. Gov. Northam’s comments weren’t “mischaracterized.”
There really wasn’t any context that didn’t require an apology or retraction if the governor didn’t believe in what amounted to euthanasia.
And that’s the problem. There might not be skull-crushing of children coming to Virginia anytime soon, although Woods’ remark was hyperbole that proves a point.
It’s not a huge bioethical leap from one hour to one week to one year, nor an unimaginable leap from “non-viable” children to children with birth defects that would severely impair their lives to those with birth defects that would simply make life more difficult.
This is just as true when the baby is in the third trimester as it is when the baby is outside the womb.
That may have been forgotten now that Gov. Northam has provided us with a clearer outrage from his past, but it’s something conservatives need to remember.
Bills like this won’t get tabled forever, and that’s when bills worse than this start getting written.
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