For some reason, this is the American season of extreme abortion laws. New York just passed one that says a mother can have her child killed up until birth. One lawmaker in Virginia introduced a bill that would accomplish essentially the same thing this week. The Democrat governor of that state then decided to add insult to injury by framing an argument for the bill using a talking point that was contradicted by a liberal group some time ago.
Governor Ralph Northam had this to say about the proposed law:
“When we talk about third-trimester abortions, these are done with the consent of the mother, with the consent of physicians, more than one physician by the way, and it’s done in cases where there may be severe deformities, there may be a fetus which is non-viable,” Gov. Northam said in an interview with WTOP’s “Ask The Governor” Wednesday that sent shock waves across the country. “So in this particular example, if the 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 this is what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physician and the mother.”
The problem with this argument is the motivation of the mother to have her baby killed in this way is usually not about fetal abnormalities.
But is that claim correct? Do “no women” have “later abortions” other than because of the nonviability of the child or a true risk to the mother’s health?
As the Free Beacon’s Alex Griswold pointed out, a 2013 study by the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute found that a majority of women who seek late-term abortions (later than 20 weeks) do so for reasons other than the viability of the baby.
“Most women seeking later abortion fit at least one of five profiles: They were raising children alone, were depressed or using illicit substances, were in conflict with a male partner or experiencing domestic violence, had trouble deciding and then had access problems, or were young and nulliparous,” the summary of the study’s results explains.
That would be a resounding no. Third-trimester abortions are done with the same motivations as first and second trimester abortions in many cases. Nonviability is one thing, but the health of the mother being a reason to abort late in a pregnancy is a non-starter according to Obstetrics and Gynecology practitioners. A third-trimester abortion takes three days. A Caesarian Section takes less than an hour. If a mother’s life truly is in danger, the shorter route would be the more appropriate one.
Bottom line, though, is that the governor of Virginia is advocating allowing newborns to die. Senator Ben Sasse had the perfect response for that:
This is morally repugnant,” Sasse said of Northam’s comments. “In just a few years, pro-abortion zealots went from ‘safe, legal, and rare’ to ‘keep the newborns comfortable while the doctor debates infanticide.’ I don’t care what party you’re from — if you can’t say that it’s wrong to leave babies to die after birth, get the hell out of public office.”