PUSHBACK AGAINST 'INFANTICIDE' ALLEGATIONS - Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is pushing back against Republican accusations that he supports infanticide following backlash over his comments on a controversial new state abortion bill ... "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.
Northam appeared on a Washington radio station to discuss the Repeal Act, which seeks to repeal restrictions on third-trimester abortions. Virginia Democratic Del. Kathy Tran, one of the sponsors, sparked outrage from conservatives when she confirmed at a hearing that a woman about to give birth could still request an abortion under the new bill. When asked about Tran's comments, Northam, a former pediatric neurologist, said that third-trimester abortions are done in extreme cases where a fetus may be severely deformed or "not viable' with the consent of the mother and often multiple physicians.
“So in this particular example if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen," he 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.”
The intent of Northam's comments was not clear. But some conservative commentators and lawmakers believed he was discussing the possibility of letting a newborn die and was possibly endorsing "infanticide."
The proposed legislation in Virginia follows New York passing a bill last week loosening restrictions on abortion. New Mexico, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington state also have passed new laws expanding abortion access or moved to strip old laws from the books that limit abortions.