Last week, I wrote an article about Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s statements defending infanticide. (You can read it here.) Twenty-four hours later, Governor Northam was in the fight of his political career. Not for arguing that babies could reasonably, and legally, be left to die in the delivery room, but because of a photo from his 1985 Medical School Yearbook where he was either dressed in blackface or in a KKK costume (it was unclear which role Northam played in the photo).
Today, Northam has been condemned by the Virginia State Black Caucus, the NAACP, both state senators, the Democratic and Republican parties of the state of Virginia, prominent political leaders from the House and Senate, as well as countless editorials in leading national news outlets. While he has resisted calls for his resignation, political insiders close to the governor say it is only a matter of time before he caves and resigns.
Clearly, the photo and Northam’s version of events are deeply offensive and troubling. The Governor also handled this situation terribly. He initially took responsibility for the photo and less than a day later insisted he wasn’t in the photo at all, a story that left many wondering which story was true. However, as a pro abundant life person, I am deeply concerned over the fact that there is much more controversy over a 30-year old racist and offensive photo than over his defense of doctors killing a child after it is born.
Some would say here, “But Ardee, he was not defending infanticide, he made it clear that he was only talking about children facing severe viability issues.” Let’s be clear, this defense makes the Governor’s position worse, not better. A baby born with severe health complications is even more vulnerable than one born without those complications. This child needs even more of our compassion and medical care, not less. Yet, these are precisely the children that the governor believes should be left to die if the parents decide their lives aren’t worth fighting for—the most vulnerable amongst us.
Planned Parenthood defended the infanticide comments, as did many of Northam’s political allies, yet they were quick to denounce him when the photo leaked. Planned Parenthood tweeted, “There is no place for @GovernorVA’s racist actions or language in our democracy, or our country. He should resign immediately.” This is ironic considering that Northam’s abortion views and policies do far more to harm minorities than anything in his yearbook.
Every day, more African American children are killed by abortion providers like Planned Parenthood in New York City than are born. When I first read that I thought it had to be hyperbole, but it isn’t. That’s fact and it comes from the city’s office of vital statistics. The Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood’s research partner, reports that most abortions are performed on minority women (62%). Most Planned Parenthood clinics operate in minority communities. When Ralph Northam tries to pass legislation allowing abortion up until the moment of birth and then says that it should even extend beyond birth, he is talking about making it easier for even more African American, Hispanic, and other babies to be killed.
Does this mean that Northam, Planned Parenthood, or NARAL are racist? No. The intentions for a specific policy do not have to be racist for that policy to disproportionality harm a racial minority. This fact is increasingly argued in courtrooms across America. Why is there fierce opposition from minority groups to voter identification laws? Because opponents argue that these laws would disproportionately harm minorities. Thus, intent is not the question.
This theory of discrimination is called “Disparate Impact.” According to legal website Justia, “Under this theory of discrimination, the core inquiry focuses on the results of the action taken, rather than the underlying intent. Because of this difference in focus, evidence of a discriminatory intent or purpose is not required. Indeed, "intent" is not an element in the disparate impact analysis.”
So, do Governor Northam’s abortion policies, and those of his political allies like Planned Parenthood, have a disparate impact on minorities? Again, by their own admission the answer is yes. As Care Net’s President and CEO Roland C. Warren has said, abortion “is the most effective and permanent form of voter suppression of African Americans.” Indeed, if one were to ask a member of the KKK which they would celebrate more, a racist photo in a yearbook or a policy that reduced the number of minorities allowed life in our country, which would they choose? Which would they fight the most to protect?
So, whether Northam has a racist heart or Planned Parenthood’s motivations are racial or just financial, what matters most are the results of their actions. Regardless of their reasons, Governor Northam and Planned Parenthood are fighting to protect and advance policies that have ensured that millions of minority children are killed in the womb. Millions.
How many lives has his yearbook photo taken?
A photo can’t take a life, but governors and legislators can through the laws they pass and the ideas they uphold. Ideology becomes policy and, in the case of abortion, the results are horrific.
So, if you are one of the many calling for the governor’s resignation, make sure that you aren’t making a photo the main reason for your argument. The sitting governor of Virginia believes that parents have the right to take the life of a baby after its born. That should be enough reason to demand his resignation.
It’s enough for me.