The Virginia affiliate of Planned Parenthood threw its support behind Ralph Northam, a Democrat, in August 2017, dropping $3 million and providing close support, deploying canvassers to knock on 300,000 doors and sending mailers to another 400,000 homes.
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia confirmed the donation and support to the Washington Post. While Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie voiced opposition to abortion unless it was in the case of rape, incest, or when a mother’s life was at stake, Northam voiced support for abortion even in the second and third trimesters, despite the majority of Americans being against late abortions.
“Northam has been a key ally to abortion groups, making the issue a top priority during his time in Richmond,” the openly liberal Post stated.
Earlier in 2017, Planned Parenthood and other liberal groups launched a $2 million advertising campaign that had negative ads against Gillespie, claiming that he didn’t have the right stance on so-called women’s issues.
Gillespie responded to The Hill, saying: “It’s no surprise that Planned Parenthood would spend millions of dollars on Ralph Northam’s behalf, given his extreme positions like supporting abortions in the eighth or ninth month or just because the unborn child is a girl.”
Northam has acknowledged the support and told Ballotpedia he was proud to have the backing of the group. “Ralph is proud to have a 100 percent rating from Planned Parenthood,” his office told the website. “Ralph will continue to be a brick wall, stopping attacks on reproductive rights and access to health care.”
He also held multiple campaign events at Planned Parenthood locations in the state.
VA gov on abortion this morning:
“If a mother is in labor…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 & mother” pic.twitter.com/cc15pVLjIQ
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) January 30, 2019
On the eve of the 2018 elections, Planned Parenthood reminded supporters that it endorsed Northam, saying he and other candidates have “taken bold actions in support of Planned Parenthood.”
Northam caused an uproar on Wednesday, Jan. 30, when he appeared to say during a radio interview that a woman could have a baby and then decided whether to kill it or not, a radical view that critics called “infanticide.”
“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,” he said. “And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
Northam later released a statement in response to the backlash but it seemed to confirm what he said, though restricting the killing to babies with “severe fetal abnormalities” or those that doctors deemed “nonviable.”
Northam’s office responds to questions about his comments on WTOP earlier today: pic.twitter.com/D7uKBi0dq7
— Kathryn Watson (@kathrynw5) January 30, 2019
His comments came in support of the Repeal Act, a Democrat-backed bill that would have changed abortion legality in Virginia.
Currently, women can have abortions up to the moments before birth but only if three doctors certify that continuing with the pregnancy would endanger the woman’s life or “substantially and irremediably” impair the woman’s health.
The Repeal Act would only require one doctor to certify the pregnancy would “impair the mental or physical health of the women” and would delete the words “substantially and irremediably” from the line referring to the requirement for a woman to get an abortion so late.
A Virginia House subcommittee that considered the bill voted 5-3 to table it on Jan. 28. The office of Majority Leader Todd Gilbert, a Republican, told anti-abortion group Live Action on Wednesday that the bill will not leave the subcommittee and no further action will be taken on it.