In last night’s State of the Union (SOTU) address, President Donald Trump took some time to speak about two instances in the U.S. where state legislatures have considered shocking measures in undo meaningful restrictions on late-term abortions. One example involving terminating the lives of the unborn sent emotionally-charged shockwaves through the Commonwealth of Virginia just last week.
“There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our nation saw in recent days,” Trump said in his address to both houses of Congress and the American people. “Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth.”
The bill that passed though the New York state legislature allows women to seek abortions after a fetus is 24 weeks old if the mother’s life or health is threatened by the pregnancy, also making it legal for women to have an abortion at any time if the fetus is non-viable. Moreover, abortion is moved to be regulated under public health law, rather than criminal law, and allows licensed nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and licensed midwives to conduct abortions.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) hailed the passage of the legislation as a “giant step forward.”
Following the development, the spire atop New York’s Freedom Tower, standing 1,776 feet above the ground, was lit bright pink in solidarity with the activists and lawmakers who helped push the monumental change.
Speaking to the horrors the legislation will condone, President Trump stated, “These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world.”
“And then,” the president continued, “we had the case of the governor of Virginia where he stated he would execute a baby after birth.”
The mention comes after Governor Ralph Northam (D) doubled down on his support for Democrats in their effort to pass a sweeping late-term abortion bill. Although the legislation was tabled in the 2019 General Assembly Session, it is a high priority for Virginia Democrats if they take back the majority in the legislature – just nine months away from the November elections.
H.B. 2491, introduced by Delegate Kathy Tran (D-Springfield), would repeal restrictions on third trimester abortions, allowing abortion doctors to self-certify the necessity of late-term procedures, eliminate informed consent requirements, repeal abortion clinic health and safety standards, permit late-term abortions to be performed in outpatient clinics, remove ultrasound requirements, and eliminate Virginia’s 24-hour waiting period.
During her presentation of the bill in a House subcommittee, Delegate Tran said third trimester abortions would face substantially fewer restrictions.
“How late in the third trimester could a physician perform an abortion if he indicated it would impair the mental health of the woman,” subcommittee chairman Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) asked.
“Through the third trimester,” Tran responded. “The third trimester goes all the way up to forty weeks.”
Delegate Tran also clarified that abortion procedures would be allowed up until the end of a woman’s pregnancy.
“I don’t think we have a limit in the bill,” she added.
In response to a question from House Majority Leader Gilbert, Tran also suggested that partial-birth abortions would be subject to the bill’s repeal of existing restrictions on the procedure.
“Where it’s obvious that a woman is about to give birth, that she has physical signs that she is 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,” he continued. “I’m asking if your bill allows that.”
“My bill would allow that, yes,” Tran affirmed.
Upon further questioning, Delegate Tran explicitly addressed the hypothetical case of aborting a healthy infant, one week before the mother’s due date, on grounds of mental health.
“I certainly could have said a week from her due date and that would have been the same answer, correct?” Gilbert continued.
“That it’s allowed in the bill? Yes,” Tran said.
54 percent – a majority – of Democratic lawmakers sponsored Delegate Tran’s late-term abortion bill, in addition to Governor Northam, Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax (D), and Attorney General Mark Herring (D).
Nevertheless, comments surrounding the bill became far more menacing in the days following when the political leader of the Commonwealth alluded to infanticide.
During a morning address on WTOP’s “Ask The Governor” segment, Governor Northam commented on the situation surrounding the response to Tran’s bill by saying the widespread reaction was “blown out of proportion.”
Explaining it himself, he said the following:
“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.”
“To defend the dignity of every person,” President Trump charged lawmakers, “I am asking Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb.”
Virginia Republicans have the full backing of pro-life President Trump in the effort of protecting life in the womb.
Mirroring what Speaker of the House of Delegates Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) said in his rare, emotional speech rebutting the perturbing Democratic bill, promising “to fight for the promise of life, the president added in his SOTU address, “let us reaffirm a fundamental truth — all children — born and unborn— are made in the holy image of God.”