Virginia Del. Nick Freitas (R-Culpeper) criticized Del. Kathy Tran’s (D-Fairfax) bill that would’ve allowed abortion up until birth as well as Gov. Ralph Northam’s (D) subsequent comments that infants born alive could be left to die.
In comments to Townhall Thursday, Freitas outlined the consequences of Tran’s bill.
“Had Del. Tran's bill become law, a baby, fully capable of feeling pain, could be aborted moments before birth for virtually any reason,” he said. “I find such a policy to be barbaric.”
Tran’s bill, HB 2491, was defeated by Republicans in the Virginia Assembly on Tuesday and would’ve reduced the number of doctors necessary to certify the need for a late term abortion from three to just one. It also would've allowed an abortion after the second trimester for virtually any “mental or physical health” reason.
Tran admitted that her bill would allow abortion up until birth earlier this week in a now-viral video which received widespread backlash.
However, as bad as Tran’s proposed legislation was, Freitas argued that Gov. Northam’s response to it was “worse.”
Gov. Northam responded to a question about Tran’s bill on WTOP Wednesday.
“It’s done in cases where there may be severe deformities, there may be a fetus that’s nonviable,” Northam said of third trimester abortions. “So in this particular example, if a mother’s 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.”
Freitas, along with Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) and others, call this infanticide.
“What he described was in actuality infanticide,” Freitas emphasized. “The fact that he is a trained and practicing pediatric neurologist, means he is well aware of what he was saying. When he was asked after his initial interview if he regretted what he said, he said that he did not.”
“He then tried to use his experience as a doctor to claim outrage that anyone would question his dedication to helping children,” he continued. “Well governor, when you openly advocate for allowing a child to wither and die on the operating table after the child has been born, you no longer get to use past exploits to excuse yourself.”
In an initial response to the furor, Northam’s spokesperson claimed that the governor’s comments were only referring to cases such as a nonviable pregnancy or severe fetal abnormality.
"No woman seeks a third trimester abortion except in the case of tragic or difficult circumstances, such as a nonviable pregnancy or in the event of severe fetal abnormalities, and the governor's comments were limited to the actions physicians would take in the event that a woman in those circumstances went into labor,” the statement said.
However, the term “severe fetal abnormalities” encompasses a swath of diagnoses and can mean infants with Down syndrome or Trisomy 18.
“I will never understand how some can argue that the life of a mentally or physically challenged person is somehow less worthy of protection than those born without such struggles,” Freitas commented. “It is not only legally questionable, it is morally reprehensible. I had thought that the dark days of eugenics were behind us, but apparently some abhorrent philosophies die hard, and even when they do, have a propensity for resurrection.”
Overall, Freitas lamented this push from some Democrats for late term abortion.
“I fail to see how anyone that believes in equal protection before the law could ever support the kind of selective abortions the new left is arguing for and even celebrating,” he emphasized. “I think it is fair to say, that when someone has allowed themselves to not only support, but celebrate this kind of activity, it becomes very difficult to find common ground on much else.”
Editor's Note: Townhall columnist Marina Medvin contributed to this post.