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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam Defends Leaving Infants to Die After Birth

AP Photo/Steve Helber

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) made some startling remarks defending allowing an infant born alive to die on WTOP Wednesday when asked about the debate over Virginia House of Delegates member Kathy Tran’s (D-Fairfax) bill that would allow an abortion even after the woman goes into labor.


When asked if he supported the bill, Gov. Northam argued that decisions by physicians can be made to allow an infant to die even after birth.

“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.”

Prior to these comments he explained that these scenarios arise in cases of children with “severe deformities.”

“When we talk about third-trimester abortions, these are done with the consent of obviously the mother, with the consent of the physician — more than one physician, by the way — and it’s done in cases where there may be severe deformities,” he explained. “There may be a fetus that’s non-viable.”

Northam, who once worked as a pediatric neurologist, argued that the whole debate over Tran's bill was “blown out of proportion” and emphasized that the government, particularly male legislators, shouldn’t be involved in these types of decisions at all.


Later in the interview, he did disagree with Tran’s attempt in the bill to lift a requirement for multiple physicians to weigh in on the need for a late-term abortion.

“I think it’s always good to get a second opinion,” he said, “and for at least two providers to be involved in that decision because these decisions shouldn’t be taken lightly.”

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