Monday, February 4, 2019

Visiting Column #6 -- No Room for Daddy?

As I write this, Virginia's governor, Ralph Northam, is calling an emergency meeting of his staff to try to decide whether to step down in the wake of the discovery of a racially-charged picture on his page of the Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook.

To be kind, Northam did not have a good week.  But whether or not he actually was one of the two individuals in the yearbook -- one in blackface and the other a Klansman in a hood and robe -- is of no concern to me.  Of course, I'm 100% certain that if the lieutenant governor had been a Republican, the chorus of screams for his resignation would be far quieter, hypocrites that the left can be.

But I digress.

Northam's bad week started when he went on a radio show in Washington and, to the horror (I assume) of the interviewer and most of the listeners, described a bill that had been proposed in the Legislature up there to deregulate abortions.  Specifically, it would literally allow an abortion up to (and I quote him) dilation, meaning within hours or minutes of an actual delivery -- as "late term" as humanly, or I guess, inhumanly, possible.

But that wasn't enough.  Northam went on to clarify even more, and here is where I got pretty steamed.  He described the timing of when an unborn child could be killed, and added that it included after birth.  That decision, he stated, would be "up to the woman and her physician."  Yes, he was very clear that a baby could be killed right after birth if the woman and her doctor okayed it.

I'm on record, as you who are regular readers know, as being far from passionate about the abortion issue.  It has mercifully never affected me personally.  I suppose that as a Christian, with sympathy for all, that I am offended by what we could call "abortion for convenience", while not being offended in cases of rape, incest, severe genetic abnormality.  The law will never sort that out, and I don't expect it to.

Moreover, because it is a moral issue, it needs to be up to the States and not to the Federal government to decide what is legal, according to the moral leanings of the people of that State.

But let's set that aside and return to Northam's comment on air.  I'm going to paraphrase here, but he did say this, whatever words were used: According to the proposed law, supported by Gov. Northam, a living baby can be legally killed, after it is born, if the mother and her doctor say it is OK.

The mother.  The doctor.  Isn't someone missing?

Even if you are to concede the weird leftist argument that a fetus is "part of the mother" and therefore all decisions about its life belong solely to her, once a baby is born alive, the rules change.

Once a baby is born, it is not the exclusive province of the mother to decide its fate.  Now (and, in my judgment, during pregnancy as well, but so be it), there are two parents and any decision about what happens to that child belongs to the father equally with the mother, whether or not he is a present figure in the life of the mother.

I have not heard a single word about this point of view, although perhaps there would have been more people to think about it had the networks actually paid any attention to Northam's radio interview -- outside of Fox, barely a minute of network and cable news even mentioned it -- NBC, ABC, CNN and NBC totally ignored the story.

But I didn't.  And I will scream from the rooftops that once a baby is born, there are two parents who both need to be involved in any decision to terminate the life of a living, born child.  I will scream from the same rooftops that if the father is not in the picture, it is still vital that he be found and brought into the decision before such a drastic step is taken.

Because at that point we're talking about a baby, not a body part.  And as it takes two to create it, it needs to take two to decide its fate.

How uncivilized would any decision to the contrary be.

Copyright 2019 by Robert Sutton
Like what you read here?  There are over 1,000 posts from Bob at, and after four years of writing a new one daily, he still posts thoughts once in a while as "visiting columns", no longer the "prolific essayist" he was through 2018, but still around.  Appearance, advertising, sponsorship and interview inquiries cheerfully welcomed at or on Twitter at @rmosutton

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