Much has been made lately of language in a recently enacted New York state statute that permits abortion up to the time of birth if necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother. New Jersey has had the same provision for two generations via a regulation of the Board of Medical Examiners.
Sadly, when New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the new legislation into law two weeks ago, he did so in a joyful and celebratory atmosphere. What moral person could find joy in this?
The joyless debate over the issue of how late in a pregnancy is morally or legally too late for abortion was crystalized when the Virginia General Assembly was prepared to vote last week on legislation nearly identical to New York’s, only to have that legislation inadvertently sabotaged by one of its most ardent supporters, Gov. Ralph Northam, a pediatric neurologist.
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When Gov. Northam was asked on a Richmond radio show how the law would address a baby’s surviving an abortion procedure in the ninth month of pregnancy and his cold and startling answer was that the proposed legislation would permit the mother and the physician to let the unwanted baby passively die, outrage ensued, and the legislation was defeated by one vote.
That outrage was soon diverted to Gov. Northam’s fitness for office, not over his abortion comment but because his medical school yearbook page showed a photo with a person in blackface and another in Ku Klux Klan garb — together depicting horrid, hateful, hurtful imagery reminiscent of an awful white supremacist-dominated time in American history that took bloodshed to erase. This shocking…