Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D.) commented Wednesday about a controversial 40-week abortion bill and in so doing said the law allows an abortion to take place after the infant’s birth.
“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,” Northam said, alluding to the physician and mother discussing whether the born infant should live or die.
A Democratic lawmaker in the Virginia House of Delegates proposed a bill Tuesday that would allow abortions through the end of the third trimester of pregnancy. The video of Delegate Kathy Tran presenting her bill led to an exchange where she admitted that her bill would allow for a mother to abort her child minutes before giving birth.
“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 (R.) asked.
“Or physical health,” Tran said.
“Okay,” Gilbert replied. “I’m talking about the mental health.”
“I mean, through the third trimester,” Tran said. “The third trimester goes up to 40 weeks.”
“Okay, but to the end of the third trimester?” Gilbert asked.
“Yup, I don’t think we have a limit in the bill,” Tran said.
“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.”
Tran responded that is a decision between the woman and her doctor would have to make. Gilbert asked if her bill would allow an abortion right before the infant was born.
“My bill would allow that, yes,” Tran said.
NBC4 reporter Julie Carey asked Northam about the measure.
“Do you support her measure and explain her answer?” Carey asked.
“I wasn’t there, Julie. And I certainly can’t speak for delegate Tran. But I would tell you one, the first think I would say, this is why decisions such as this should be made by providers, physicians, and the mothers and fathers that are involved,” Northam said. “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 is done in cases where there may be severe deformities, there may be a fetus that is non-viable.”
Northam continued by saying government shouldn’t be involved in these types of decisions and that legislators, especially male legislators, shouldn’t be telling women what to do.
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