Military and Police

Did VA Gov. Ralph Northam Really Say Killing Babies is Okay, As Long As You Discuss it First?

People have long argued the abortion issue from perspectives ranging from life begins at conception, to the various stages in-between, to life begins after birth. The viewpoints also range from religious to agnostic to scientific. I’ve remained mostly silent on the issue because so much of it is nebulous and a bunch of extrapolations are involved to arrive at various conclusions. But something happened today that crosses that bright line that should clarify anyone’s understanding of the difference between “abortion” and murder.

In my non-religious opinion, human life begins at conception. To me, that just makes sense, scientifically. But, as a compassionate human being, when I learned that there is evidence that a human fetus may feel pain at 20 weeks, or possibly earlier (on which side would you rather err?) and does feel pain at 27 weeks, I have to put the brakes on and consider abortion in the context of fetal pain. In fact, this evidence prompted Utah legislators to pass a law requiring doctors performing abortions to anesthetize the fetus prior to a procedure occurring beyond 20 weeks.

For me, the possibility and reality of fetal pain is the point at which I solidified my opposition to abortion. Still, the law, generally, reflected in Roe v. Wade, does not call the destruction of a human fetus a “murder” for legal purposes. So, I have begrudgingly conceded I don’t have the only opinion in this debate. But today’s comment by an American governor pushes the proverbial envelope and has changed my stance on commenting on the issue from a law enforcement perspective.

I broke my silence on the issue because today I heard the most radical statement I’ve ever heard about abortion by a prominent, American government official. Reporters asked Virginia Governor Ralph Northam about HB 2491, also known as the Repeal Act, which would allow abortion up to delivery. He was asked whether he supported a woman having an abortion while giving birth. Gov. Northam responded in this chilling, macabre way:

“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.”

Let me finish that comment from the perspective of a retired law enforcement officer: “a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother” about whether to murder a living human being. Yes! Murder!

Forget about the disingenuous attempts to describe a human fetus as something other than a potential human being before birth. Frankly, I don’t think there is anything potential about a viable baby still in the womb. But there is inarguably nothing potential about a child once out of the mother’s womb. That is a person lying there with the same right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness all Americans have. If there were ever a bright line in the debate, isn’t this it?

What kind of sick, twisted soul thinks like this governor and those who agree with him? I saw and held all three of my children born, and I saw and held my grandchildren soon after they were born. The most recent was born less than a year ago. I saw each of my children and grandchildren during Gov. Northam’s “discussion” period.

I gotta ask: Doesn’t the idea of killing newborn babies nominate a person to a first-ballot induction into the Evil Hall of Fame? How could it not?

There are a few things in politics that I consider non-negotiable. This is not about politics or religion; this is straight out of the realm of criminal law. Once a human being is born, all discussion and debate must be over or we, by definition, lose our humanity. Good people don’t do this.

Has the view that we should not murder living, breathing human infants really become radical in this neo-leftist, Democrat-socialist assault on American tradition? Or is the neo-left offering baby sacrifice as a new American tradition?

Listen to Gov. Northam’s comments and see if you think I’m overstating what he said. Everything I was taught as a law enforcement officer tells me that what the governor described today is murder.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at

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