By Carol Rushton
On January 30, 2019, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam created a firestorm when he advocated for a child that was born to be allowed to die if the mother decided she did not want the baby.
Governor Northam was defending a bill presented in Virginia’s state legislature that would allow third trimester abortions. Northam said that abortions are performed in the third trimester “in cases where there may be severe deformities. There may be a fetus that’s nonviable. So in this particular example, 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 (Devan Cole, January 31, 2019, CNN, “Virginia Governor Faces Backlash Over Comments Supporting Late-Term Abortion Bill,” https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/31/politics/ralph-northam-third-trimester-abortion/, accessed April 8, 2019).
The same CNN article reported the defense of the governor by his spokesperson, Ofirah Yheskel.
“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 . . . 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.”
While many found it shocking that a governor of a state in the U.S. would openly support infanticide, what is even more stunning is that the governor and his administration would maintain the lie that a woman actually consults with a physician or doctor before she decides to abort her baby.
Unplanned is the movie that tells the story of Abby Johnson, the youngest director of an abortion clinic in the history of Planned Parenthood, and how she became pro-life when she saw a baby try to avoid a doctor’s attempt to kill it in the womb during an actual abortion. Abby Johnson has since become a powerful advocate of life, refuting the propaganda dispensed by Planned Parenthood.
Before Unplanned was released, the state legislature in Kentucky was considering SB9, a bill that would ban abortions after a baby’s heartbeat can be detected in the womb. Planned Parenthood and the ACLU trotted out their advocates who spouted the same lie that they have deceived women with for years: a baby is not a baby, it’s just a mass of cells, women have the right to choose, there are no exceptions in the bill for women who have become pregnant due to rape or incest, blah, blah, blah. I say this with all due respect.
Abby was then allowed to speak. She quickly pointed out that even if exceptions in SB9 for women to have an abortion in cases of rape or incest had been included, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU would not support the bill and that they were being intellectually dishonest by even bringing it up.
Abby then described what actually happens at a Planned Parenthood clinic during an abortion. First, an ultrasound is performed but only for the purpose of seeing how far the baby has developed so Planned Parenthood will know how much to charge the woman for the abortion.
The ultrasound machine is rolled away, and a doctor enters the room. Abby continues. “The doctor comes in, who, by the way, has no conversation with the woman before the abortion. The fact that many people say, ‘Abortion should be a decision made between a woman and her doctor’ is laughable. There is never a time where the abortion doctor goes in, sits down with the woman, and goes over risks, alternatives, and benefits to abortion. It does not happen. The doctor starts performing the abortion” (“Abby Johnson of Movie Unplanned DESTROYS Abortion Arguments at Hearing,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCnZOvjJgwo, accessed April 8, 2019, emphasis mine).
In the hearing, Abby makes it very clear that abortion is never a safe procedure because in order for an abortion to be successful, it must result in the death of another human being, the death of the baby in the womb. An abortion can never be safe for that baby.
Abby’s conclusion was compelling and forceful. “Our history tells us, time and time again, that it is unjust to take the life of an innocent human being. It was unjust to dehumanize an entire segment of people when we were working to abolish slavery. It was unjust to dehumanize an entire group of Jewish people in the Holocaust. But those two examples that I just gave you only exist because our society was willing to turn a blind eye, look a human person in the face, and say, ‘That is not a human being.’ That is not scientific . . . Now we are living in such depravity that there are people, like the people that oppose this bill, that are willing to say, ‘I know it’s a human being, I know it has a heartbeat, I know there is life there, and I know it is innocent, and I’m willing to kill it.’ We have sunk to a new low in our society, and it is time for us to rectify what we have done . . . Abortion is not normal. Taking the life of an innocent human being that is your own flesh and blood and your own DNA is not normal.”
The bill easily passed.
I could only quote a small portion of Abby’s testimony, so I encourage you to go to YouTube and watch it yourself. I don’t think you’ll ever be the same.
The response from pro-lifers and Christians to Governor Northam’s support of infanticide was to hold a “Day of Mourning” on April 6 in Richmond, Virginia. No word or response from Governor Northam or his office about the movie Unplanned or the Day of Mourning.
For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: My substance was not from thee, when I was made in secret . . . Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them – Psalm 139:13-16