Cline joins in political grandstanding on abortion bill

Never one to pass up a chance to score cheap political points, Congressman Cline has joined with two Republican colleagues in a statement about a now-defeated bill in the Virginia General Assembly on late-term abortions introduced by Del. Kathy Tran.

“We ask Governor Northam to clarify his position and answer this question: Are you supportive of Del. Tran’s bill or against it? If against, it is critical that you voice your opposition and work with the General Assembly on provisions that protect life. We will be standing with the Members of the General Assembly who stand against the Repeal Act.

“We, the Virginia Republican Congressional Delegation, are united in our opposition to this bill. We reject this as a blatant attack on human life that allows easy abortions up until the point of birth. This assault on the most vulnerable among us is both heartbreaking and abhorrent. We firmly denounce this legislation and ask our colleagues in the General Assembly to do the same. This is not who we are as a Commonwealth.”

The rightwing hysterical-outrage machine is in full gear.

The Washington Post explains:

Late-term abortions are permitted in Virginia only when the mother’s life is at grave risk. Tran’s bill would have lifted some restrictions; instead of requiring three doctors to sign off on the procedure, it would have required only one doctor. It also would have removed language requiring that the danger to the mother was “substantial and irremediable.”

On WTOP radio’s “Asks the Governor” program Wednesday, NBC4’s Julie Carey asked Northam whether he supported Tran’s bill.

Northam expressed support and spoke broadly about his belief that politicians should leave abortion decisions to women and their doctors.

But his comments about third-[trimester] abortions set off critics. The procedures, he said, are “done in cases where there may be severe deformities. There may be a fetus that’s not viable. So in this particular example, if a mother’s 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.”


Ofirah Yheskel, a spokeswoman for Northam, said the Republicans were mischaracterizing the governor.

“No woman seeks a third-trimester abortion except in the case of tragic or difficult circumstances, such as a nonviable pregnancy or in the event of severe fetal abnormalities, and the governor’s comments were limited to the actions physicians would take in the event that a woman in those circumstances went into labor,” she said.

“Attempts to extrapolate these comments otherwise is in bad faith and underscores exactly why the governor believes physicians and women, not legislators, should make these difficult and deeply personal medical decisions,” Yheskel said.

Again: third-trimester abortions are currently legal in Virginia under certain circumstances. Tran’s bill would have required a doctor’s approval for a late-term abortion.

In 2012 Cline supported a bill in the General Assembly defining life as beginning at conception. So it really doesn’t matter to him at what point or for what reason an abortion occurs– he believes it is always murder.

At any rate it seems Cline and Republicans in general are pleased to have something– anything— that might distract attention from the government shutdown fiasco, Trump’s flat-out contradiction of his own intelligence officials on Iran, Russia, ISIS and North Korea, etc.


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