- Virginia Governor Ralph Northam sparked outrage with his remarks Wednesday
- He was defending a state bill that would allow abortions even during labor
- Northam, a pediatric doctor, suggested baby could be born then allowed to die
- On Tuesday, Democrat Del. Kathy Tran proposed bill to expand abortion access
- Admitted that her bill would allow abortions as the mother was in labor
- The bill was killed in committee on a party line vote on Wednesday afternoon
Virginia's governor has drawn backlash after suggesting that a pregnancy could be terminated after the baby's birth, as the state debates a bill relaxing restrictions on third trimester abortions.
Governor Ralph Northam, a Democrat, made the shocking remarks in an interview with WTOP-FM on Wednesday, as he attempted to explain a Democrat delagate's earlier remarks.
Northam, a pediatric neurologist, described a hypothetical situation where a severely deformed newborn infant could be left to die.
He said that if a woman were to desire an abortion as she's going into labor, the baby would be delivered and then 'resuscitated if that's what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue' between doctors and the mother.
Northam was responding to remarks made on Tuesday by Democratic Delegate Kathy Tran, video of which went viral, sparking fury.
In the video, Republican Delegate Todd Gilbert asks Tran whether her legislation would let a pregnant woman who is dilating request an abortion if a doctor certified that the woman's mental health was impaired.
'My bill would allow that, yes,' Tran said. On Wednesday afternoon, the bill was defeated in committee on a party-line vote.
Existing Virginia state law does not put an absolute time limit on abortions and Tran's legislation did not alter that.
Her legislation would reduce the number of doctors who would have to certify late-term abortions are needed from three to one.
It would also delete the requirement that doctors determine that continuing a pregnancy would 'substantially and irremediably' impair a woman's health. Instead doctors would only have to certify that the woman's health was impaired.
Opponents of the legislation, which has failed in both the state House and Senate, said it would give essentially allow for late abortions on demand.
Prominent Republicans and conservative media outlets helped spread the video exchange to a wide audience, with more than 2 million views as of Wednesday.
'This is insanity. Seems like advocating for Post Term Abortion AKA MURDER by any standard I’m aware of,' Don Trump Jr said of Northam's remarks.
'What is happening in our country. This literally makes me sick to my stomach,' tweeted Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, in response to the video.
Former Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin said of Northam's remarks: 'Those who never imagined society would actually get there - state governments sanctioning infanticide - must logically understand what gets accepted next #deathpanels.'
The controversy came the same week that a new law in New York was passed allowing abortions up until birth.
Kentucky's Governor Matt Bevin was also motivated to tweet about the proposed legislation.
'First New York, and now a proposed Virginia bill that would legalize abortion up to the moment of birth... This is a sad commentary on the culture of death that continues to creep insidiously into the laws of our county...' Bevin wrote.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio also spoke out, tweeting that Northam is openly supporting legal infanticide.
Yheskel, the governor's spokeswoman, said Northam was only trying to describe the 'tragic or difficult circumstances' involved in a late-term abortion.
'Attempts to extrapolate these comments otherwise is in bad faith and underscores exactly why the governor believes physicians and women, not legislators, should make these difficult and deeply personal medical decisions,' she said.