On Wednesday morning, Virginia’s Democratic Governor Ralph Northam endorsed infanticide and tried to make it sound as harmless as he could. When asked by a radio host if he supported Virginia legislator Kathy Tran’s proposed law to permit abortion while a woman was in labor, Northam replied:

This is why decisions such as this should be made by providers, physicians, and the mothers and fathers that are involved. 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. 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.

Note, there is no mention of a “fetus” here; the term used by the governor, who endorses the legality of the practice, is “infant.” Because he’s talking about a newborn baby—one who will be “kept comfortable” while a mother and doctor decide whether or not to kill him.

When someone speaks of atrocities as if they’re benign events, the horror is magnified. And so, Northam unwittingly laid bare the enormity of his position. He’s not speaking in the standard language of “choice” or making the traditional argument about a woman’s right to her own body. This is about the right to dispose of a human being—by anyone’s definition—who lives among us. Northam’s position moots the question of when a fetus is “viable” and pushes the conversation toward the viability of an infant. It’s an argument for eugenics-based culling.

It gets worse. Northam’s take is, in some sense, actually less callous than Kathy Tran’s. He wants the life-or-death decision to require the consultation of multiple physicians. Tran wants to do away with that requirement so that a mother can simply appeal to one doctor.

It should be stated that the bill is aimed at allowing third-trimester abortions only when the mental or physical health of the mother is at risk. But how is it even conceivable that the existence of another human being, living outside one’s body, could pose a risk to one’s mental or physical health? And if it is conceivable, then why would it stop being conceivable after infanthood?

Republicans control the Virginia House, and a subcommittee tabled the bill on Monday. But the GOP only enjoys a narrow majority there, and, as the governor’s comments demonstrate, the idea has purchase among Democrats. In fact, New York recently passed a similar law to the one proposed by Tran.

There has always been an anti-human strain within the pro-abortion camp, and the movement’s  roots are entangled with those of the eugenics movement. But in less radicalized eras, such anti-human voices were quieter or drowned out by those arguing from the perspective of women’s rights. Today, when ideological factions are bent on reverting to their worst historical iterations, some involved in the pro-abortion campaign see no problem in publicly embracing human sacrifice.

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