PP Gave VA Governor Infanticide Talking Points

Nov 4, 2019

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam used Planned Parenthood abortion and infanticide talking points to run his press operations last January.

Governor Northam did a public radio interview after he and Democratic Virginia Delegate Kathy Tran introduced HB2491, known as The Repeal Act, which would repeal restrictions on third trimester abortions all the way up to 40 weeks. This includes killing the child during or after delivery. The Repeal Act removes hospital requirements on clinics and providers, laws that mandate informed consent, a combination of mandatory ultrasounds, literature, the 24-hour waiting period for abortions in Virginia, and additional doctor requirements for late-term abortions.

Northam tried to defend infanticide when he said, “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 mother.”

Planned Parenthood was actually providing abortion talking points to Northam, other government officials, and the media after that radio interview.

Public records obtained by Judicial Watch from Northam’s office reveal that Alexsis Rodgers, a former policy director in the lieutenant governor’s office, was using a ppav.org (Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia) email account. Rodgers 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.

Some of the talking points included:

  • “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.” 

On January 16, 2019, Berger asked Michelle Woods of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia 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. 

In a section of the talking points titled “Tricky Q&A,” Rodgers advises “If possible, answer on background, not for attribution.” She adds that, “If a woman is in labor, she couldn’t and wouldn’t have an abortion,” and that politicians and pro-life groups were characterizing “safe, legal abortion” in a “completely inaccurate and misleading” way. 

The documents show that on January 17, 2019, Woods forwarded to Northam’s Press Secretary Alena Yarmosky, a press release announcing the appearance of Northam, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring with NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia and Whole Woman’s Health Alliance. At this appearance they announced a “Statement of Intent” to promote two bills to ensure abortion rights in Virginia. Woods tells Yarmosky: “I hope you win the day [smiley emoji].” 

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