This week, a delegate to the Virginia state legislature introduced a bill affirming abortion up to the moment of birth. In shocking testimony, the delegate admitted that even when it was obvious that a child was about to be born — in the 40th week of a pregnancy, even in the midst of active labor — this proposed law would allow for the child to be aborted, so long as a single doctor approves.
Governor Ralph Northam, a supporter of the bill, went even further in a radio interview the next day. He tried to reassure its opponents that if a child survived an abortion, “the infant would be kept comfortable. [And] the infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue.”
There’s another word for this: infanticide. And it is morally reprehensible and evil.
Virginia’s bill comes just a week after the New York state senate was filled with cheers following the passage of a similar law. Governor Andrew Cuomo declared it “a historic victory for . . . our progressive values” and directed pink lights to shine on landmarks throughout the state, including One World Trade Center.
This shameless embrace of a culture of death is startling to every American who cherishes life. Not too long ago, the Democratic party’s stated position was that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.” It was this widespread rejection of late-term abortion that led a large bipartisan majority in Congress to pass the partial-birth-abortion ban in 2003. But now look at how far the Democratic party has fallen.
To support, let alone cheer, late-term abortions not only marks a disturbing step backward by so-called “progressives” — it also violates every demand of human decency. As modern science has moved the point of viability ever earlier in pregnancy, most Americans have agreed that a child who can survive outside the womb deserves a chance at life. Only a handful of countries, including China and North Korea, allow late-term abortions.
Until we heard those cheers coming from Albany and the defense of the indefensible over the airwaves in Virginia, we thought states were moving beyond such barbaric practices.
These Virginia and New York late-term abortion bills should be a call to action for all Americans. A society can be judged by how it treats its most vulnerable, and it would be unconscionable for us to let this moment pass in silence. We must recommit ourselves, today and every day, to restoring the sanctity of life to the center of American law.
For my part, I couldn’t be more proud to serve as vice president to the most pro-life president in American history. From his first week in office, President Trump has been a tireless champion of life. He reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, ensuring that our foreign-aid dollars don’t go to groups that promote or perform abortions abroad. He withdrew the United States from the United Nations Population Fund to prevent our tax dollars from supporting forced sterilization and abortion overseas. And he signed a law to empower states to withhold federal funding from abortion providers — and defund Planned Parenthood.
But the commitment to life extends further than our administration. Beyond the White House, state leaders are taking action to protect the unborn. They are encouraging parents to choose life by requiring brief waiting periods, setting ultrasound and other informed-consent standards, and prohibiting abortions based solely on a child’s sex, race, or disability — a measure I was proud to sign into law as governor of Indiana.
And thanks to the efforts of millions of compassionate and caring Americans across the country, we are changing minds and turning hearts to embrace life as never before. Fewer abortions are being performed than ever recorded — a decrease of more than 50 percent since the 1980s. This is a true cause for celebration.
So even in this dark moment in our nation’s history, Americans should take heart. The New York and Virginia bills aren’t some bold departure into a brave new world. They are the last gasp of a dying movement that stands in stark and irreconcilable contrast with our nation’s timeless founding principles.
After all, at the base of the same One World Trade Center that was bathed in pink last week to mark the passage of New York’s law, is the September 11th memorial. There, the names of all who died in the horrific terrorist attacks 18 years ago are etched in stone — including the eleven unborn children we lost along with their expectant mothers.
Our commitment to the unalienable right to life is as sure as the stone in which those names are etched. And our administration, and our movement, will continue to fight until our nation once again recognizes and celebrates the sanctity of all human life.