The Latest: Virginia governor blasted for abortion comments
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Latest on a fierce political debate over abortion in Virginia (all times local):
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is being accused by prominent Republicans of supporting infanticide because of comments he made about late-term abortions in which the infant is severely deformed or unable to survive after birth.
The Democratic governor and pediatric neurologist was defending efforts to loosen abortion restrictions during a radio interview on WTOP-FM Wednesday when described a hypothetical situation where a severely deformed newborn infant could be left to die.
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.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was one of several Republicans to denounce the comments, tweeting that Northam is openly supporting legal infanticide.
Northam’s office said Republicans were mischaracterizing his statement for political gain.
A push by Virginia Democrats to loosen restrictions on late-term abortions is erupting into a fierce partisan clash as video of a legislative hearing goes viral.
Democrats back legislation to reduce the number of doctors required to certify late-term abortions from three to one. It also would delete the words “substantially and irremediably” when referring to the threat that continuing a pregnancy poses for impairing a woman’s health.
House Republicans tweeted a one-minute excerpt from the lengthy hearing, in which Democratic Del. Kathy Tran acknowledged that her bill would allow abortions up until moments before birth.
In reality, existing state law already provides for abortions throughout the third trimester, if three doctors certify a woman’s health would otherwise be substantially and irremediably impaired.
In the tweet now viewed more than 1.8 million times, Republicans said her response shows Democrats have “extreme” abortion views.