By Dave Andrusko
Judicial Watch is famous in Washington, DC for filing Freedom of Information Acts (FOIA) requests. Yesterday Judicial Watch released a 115 page treasure chest of emails which revealed how closely the office of pro-abortion Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam worked with Planned Parenthood to contain the self-inflicted damage of the remarks he’d made in a January 30 radio interview in which Northam unambiguously supported non-treatment of at least some(to give him the unearned benefit of the doubt) babies who survive abortions.
First, the background.
Northam walked into a buzz saw of controversy in trying to defend a proposed bill that the author (State Delegate Kathy Tran) conceded would legalize abortion through all 40 weeks of pregnancy.
As NRL News Today has discussed on many occasions, Democrat Northam, a pediatric neurologist, was asked about the bill in his monthly appearance on WTOP radio. He responded
“If a 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 that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
Northam’s office backpedaled. As Richardson explained
His office later denied that he was supporting infanticide, saying that he was referring to cases involving “a nonviable pregnancy or severe fetal abnormalities.”
However, National Review Online’s Alexandra DeSanctis captured the upshot well:
Though Northam later attempted to clarify his comments, he never walked back the substance of what he said, making clear that he believes it is acceptable, at least in some cases, for physicians to deny medical care to infants who were meant to have been aborted.
Back to the talking points provided by Planned Parenthood in wake of the immense blowback.
Valerie Richardson of the Washington Times aptly captures the backdrop in her lead two paragraphs:
Hours after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s infamous infanticide interview, a senior administration official circulated talking points written by Planned Parenthood designed to deescalate the furor over his late-term abortion comments.
A 115-page cache of emails obtained by Judicial Watch through open-records requests showed that Gena Berger, deputy secretary of Health and Human Resources, received “topline messages” via Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia executive director Missy Wesolowski.
The back-and-forth is complicated with lots of names and titles and acronyms. The gist is that Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia offered Gov. Northam a life-line in the form of talking points which Northam dutifully regurgitated.
For example, just hours after Northham’s interview on WTOP radio, Planned Parenthood’s Alexsis Rodgers, a former policy director for pro-abortion Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, “sent talking points from her ppav.org email account titled ‘Topline messages for Northam’ to PPAV representative Missy Wesolowski, who then forwarded them to the Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Services, Gena Berger,” according to Judicial Watch.
What were some of Rodgers’ talking points? According to Judicial Watch
“There is no such thing as an abortion up until birth.”
“Making a decision about whether to continue a pregnancy is a complex and personal decision. Politicians have no place in this process.”
“As a physician, I know how important it is to trust my patients and for my patients to trust me.”
“These are complicated medical decisions that families deserve to make in private without political interference.”
“Despite sensationalized and insensitive commentary from anti-abortion extremists, we are talking about circumstances in which the health and life of the pregnant person is at risk.”
What’s more, according to Judicial Watch, “On January 16, 2019, Berger asked Woods to provide ‘talking points’ for Northam to use for his upcoming appearance with NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia in order to promote abortion bills in the legislature. Woods replies offering to, ‘send over some talking points in case they’re helpful.’”
It’s no surprise that Northam would reach out to and appear before his ideological and financial supporters. “During his 2017 campaign, Northam received $3 million from Planned Parenthood’s Virginia affiliate, as well as nearly $20,000 from NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, which endorsed him in the Democratic primary,” as National Review Online’s Alexandra DeSanctis noted.
These pro-abortion groups, and others, are hoping to “flip” the Virginia legislature which has the slimmest of one-vote pro-life majorities in each house. Were they to do so, Del. Tran’s abortion up until birth bill would meet Gov. Northam’s soft on infanticide position, endangering the lives of unborn babies through all 40 weeks and any babies who survive the abortionist’s best efforts to kill them.
If you like, join those who are following me on Twitter at twitter.com/daveha. Your feedback is very important to improving National Right to Life News Today. Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.