Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is defending controversial comments he made about a proposed late-term abortion law.
The legislation, introduced by Virginia Delegate Kathy Tran, would loosen the state's current law by lifting some requirements for abortions during the third trimester of pregnancy and allowing abortions during the second trimester to take place outside of a hospital.
When asked about the bill in a radio interview with WTOP-FM Wednesday morning, the Democratic governor had this to say:
"It's done in cases where there may be severe deformities or there may be a fetus that's non-viable. 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."
Those comments led some Republican lawmakers to accuse Northam of "defending born-alive abortions" and "openly support[ing] legal infanticide."
But according to Northam, that's not the case. In a tweet later that day, Northam said, "I have devoted my life to caring for children and any insinuation otherwise is shameful and disgusting."
A statement from Northam's communications director says the comments he made on third-trimester abortions were limited to "cases of tragic or difficult circumstances," and taking those comments out of context "is bad faith and why health decisions should be between a woman and her doctor."