Trump falsely claims Virginia governor Ralph Northam ‘executed a baby’

Commander-in-chief discussed abortion ahead of election


Matt Mathers
Friday 09 October 2020 13:44
President claims Virginia governor 'executed baby'

President Donald Trump falsely claimed in an interview on Thursday night that Virginia governor Ralph Northam "executed a baby".

"He doesn't want to talk about it. But he [Joe Biden] endorsed the Virginia governor [Ralph Northam] who ... executed a baby," Mr Trump, 74, told Fox News host Sean Hannity.

"[Mr Northam] executed a baby ... the baby can be born, and then you can kill the baby. And he's totally in favour of that," he added.

The president had been discussing  abortion ahead of November's election and attacked Mr Biden over his stance on the key issue.

Mr Biden, who backed Mr Northam in his 2017 run for governor, said earlier this week that, if elected, he will uphold abortion rights should  the Supreme Court attempt to overturn Roe V. Wade.

"The governor of Virginia said we will execute the baby after the baby is born," Mr Trump added. "And it's a very bad thing but you don't hear anybody talking about pro-life, pro-choice with Biden.

Prior to taking office, Mr Trump appeared to flip-flop on the issue of abortion, but since becoming president he has championed conservative values and reached out to pro-life groups for support while in the White House.

But critics say his claims of being  Christian are a cynical attempt at shoring up votes among the Evangelical community, many of whom voted for him in 2016 and could again be key to deciding who wins the 2020 race for the Oval Office.

Behind closed doors, the president often mocks his religious supporters and speaks about them with contempt, according to a report in The Atlantic.

It was not immediately clear what the president was referring to when he said that governor Northam, a Democrat, supports "executing" babies.

However, Mr Trump's remarks may have been referring to a January 2019 interview Mr Northam gave to Washington radio station WTOP, in which he voiced support for a state measure that would significantly loosen restrictions on late-term abortions.

Under the bill, which failed to make it out of the sub-committee stage, mothers would be allowed to have abortions at any point in the pregnancy up until the point of childbirth — but only in cases where there was a risk to the mother’s physical or mental safety.

"[Third trimester abortions are] done in cases where there may be severe deformities. There may be a fetus that's nonviable. So in this particular example, if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen," said Mr Northam, who is a pediatric neurosurgeon.

"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."

Mr Northam faced a backlash from conservatives following the comments, with critics saying the bill effectively allowed infanticide — the crime of a mother killing her child within a year of birth.

During his reelection campaign, the president has repeatedly sought to portray that Democrats as a party that poses an existential threat to Christianity in the US.

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