Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) lent support to legislation being offered by Nebraska GOP colleague Sen. Ben Sasse that would protect babies born alive after a botched abortion by requiring medical care be given them, essentially daring Democrats to oppose it.
â€œI hope that none of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle invent any reason to block this request later today,â€ McConnell said. â€œThat would make quite a disturbing statement. If they do inexplicably block Sen. Sasseâ€™s effort, I can assure them this will not be the last time we ensure that all newborns are afforded this fundamental legal protection.â€
Sasse is planning to bring up his legislation under rules that allow any fellow member to block its consideration. The measure comes a week after Virginia lawmakers defeated a bill that would allow for abortions late in the third trimester, up to nearly the moment of birth.
The GOP majority is anxious to get Democrats on record opposing the bill, which some likely will while blaming their opposition on some obscure reason.
â€œIt is harrowing that this legislation is even necessary,â€ McConnell said. â€œIt is even more disturbing that when a Democratic governor was unable to simply state that, of course, these newborn babies have human rights that must be respected.â€
Last week Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, during an interview on local radio, appeared to endorse the legislation that was recently defeated.
â€œThis morning onÂ WTOPâ€™sÂ â€˜Ask The Governor,â€ Virginia governor Ralph Northam defended the new abortion bill introduced by state Democrats this month, the Repeal Act, which would legalize abortion up to the point of birth,â€ National Review reported.
The billâ€™s chief sponsor is Del. Kathy Tran (D). According to her legislation, if approved and signed into law by Northam, women would be able to receive an abortion up to, but right before, natural full-term delivery.
TheÂ WTOPÂ hostÂ asked NorthamÂ if he agreed with the language and premise of Tranâ€™s bill.
â€œThis is why decisions such as this should be made by providers, physicians, and the mothers and fathers that are involved,â€ Northam said. â€œWhen we talk about third-trimester abortions, these are done with the consent of obviously the mother, with the consent of the physician â€” more than one physician, by the way â€” and itâ€™s done in cases where there may be severe deformities. There may be a fetus thatâ€™s non-viable.â€
Those comments earned a rebuke from McConnell on the Senate floor, as well as one from Sasse, who said Northam should “get the hell out of politics” for it.
â€œThis is morally repugnant,â€ Sasse said in a statement.
â€œIn just a few years pro-abortion zealots went from â€˜safe, legal, and rareâ€™ to â€˜keep the newborns comfortable while the doctor debates infanticide,â€™â€ Sasse continued.
â€œI donâ€™t care what party youâ€™re from â€” if you canâ€™t say that itâ€™s wrong to leave babies to die after birth, get the hell out of public office.â€
Northam has since come under fire from Democrats and Republicans over a racist photo published in his 1984 medical school yearbook. The photo, which was featured on his personal page, showed one person in blackface and another dressed in a KKK robe and hood.
Northam has resisted calls to resign, saying he doesn’t believe either person in the photo is him.
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