On Wednesday, after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam made utterly horrifying remarks about abortion, essentially endorsing infanticide, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NB), a staunch pro-life advocate, tore into him. “This is morally repugnant,” Sasse said of Northam’s comments. “In just a few years, pro-abortion zealots went from ‘safe, legal, and rare’ to ‘keep the newborns comfortable while the doctor debates infanticide.’ I don’t care what party you’re from — if you can’t say that it’s wrong to leave babies to die after birth, get the hell out of public office.”
Northam had appeared on WTOP’s “Ask The Governor,” where he was asked about Virginia’s new abortion bill legalizing abortion up until birth. Democratic delegate Kathy Tran, the chief sponsor of the bill, had said a woman should have the capacity to have an abortion while she was going into labor. Northam’s comments included him saying a baby could be left to die after its birth, as he said:
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 obviously the mother, with the consent of the physician — more than one physician, by the way — and it’s done in cases where there may be severe deformities. There may be a fetus that’s non-viable. … 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.
Less than two weeks ago, Sasse tweeted his support for the March For Life, stating, "Thousands of Americans come to DC for the #MarchForLife. This should fill us with hope. Our cause is pro-woman, pro-baby, pro-science, and pro-human dignity. We’re pro-truth, and truth is winning.”
One year ago almost to the day on January 29, 2018, Sasse, a co-sponsor of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, spoke on the floor of the Senate about protecting unborn children from feeling pain. He stated:
We love beauty. Beauty calls us. Beauty inspires us. Beauty captivates us. It's part of what makes us human, and it's not surprising that there's almost nothing more universal on this earth — almost nothing more beautiful — than our natural impulse to care for a little baby.
We all start in the same place: vulnerable and dependent in every way. We all ooh and aah over sonogram pictures of our children, our grandchildren, our nieces, our nephews — even sonogram pictures from a stranger on a bus or plane. We all ooh and aah in the same way.
When we look at those pictures, we love. We love. We don't have to be taught this. You don't have to be conditioned to love. You don't have to be conditioned to know that we should help the vulnerable. This isn't because of economics. This isn't because of politics. We love, because they're babies. You don't need anyone to explain this to you. Every one of us have experienced this when you've seen the sonogram pictures.
But we should note that this love is not just a feeling. It's also built on and backed up by facts. As we consider whether these unborn babies, having been carried by their mamas for almost five months, as we consider whether they deserve legal protection, whether they deserve our protection, we should think, too, about the science and what is becoming clearer year by year and month by month. …
We can and we should appeal to ethics. We can and we should discuss too human dignity. We should reaffirm intrinsic value. But for now, for this conversation today, we could limit ourselves just to scientific facts. As we consider those facts, I want to respectfully ask my colleagues in this chamber today, where will we draw the line? …
The science is clear. We all know and understand that that little baby in that sonogram image is a unique and separate being. We know that she has unique D.N.A. from her mother and she has D.N.A. that's unique from her father. And the baby apps are now telling new moms and dads-to-be that that baby — or when that baby — is a size of a sesame seed, and then a blueberry, and then an apple. And with the help of these sonograms, we're now catching pictures of her sucking her thumb, flexing her arms and legs, yawning, stretching, making faces. And here's what's really new, the last couple of years, you're catching pictures and images of her responding to voices, voices that are familiar of other human beings, that she's already in community with, people who are called to love her.
The pain that those babies feel outside the womb is supporting the evidence that those babies also feel pain inside the womb, which leads me to ask my friends, "Have our hearts grown cold to truth? Have we become indifferent to questioning our previously held convictions? Are we indifferent to what the science is clearly showing us?" Well, this body, captive to abortion zealot activists, might be ignoring the sonograms. That might be what's happening in this body today. …
The United States is one of only seven countries on Earth that allows elective abortion after 20 weeks and we're actually tied with three other countries as having the most permissive abortion regime on Earth. You know who our peers are? North Korea and China — that's who our peers are.
And if our rhetoric about human rights should mean anything, it should mean we don't want to be on a human rights worst list with North Korea and China. That's where we are today. And there are a whole bunch of reasonable people who are going to argue against this legislation. They're reasonable in other ways in life and they want to make an argument about the really complicated issues about abortion in the first trimester and there are a lot of reasonable people that can have a reasonable debate about that. When you listen to the arguments being made today, they're not actually grappling with today's legislation. They're talking about abortion in general but nobody is telling us why are we tied with China and North Korea as having the most permissive abortion regime on Earth?