Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, left, accompanied by his wife, Pam, speaks during a news conference in the Governor’s Mansion in Richmond, Va., on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019. Resisting widespread calls for his resignation, Northam on Saturday vowed to remain in office after disavowing a racist photograph that appeared under his name in his 1984 medical school yearbook. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
In January of this year, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam infamously made comments on the WTOP radio station about a bill by Rep. Kathy Tran which would allow a baby to be aborted up to and beyond birth, essentially falling into the realm of infanticide. Now we know that, thanks to a Freedom of Information Act requests by Judicial Watch, Northam and his staff had requested talking points directly from Planned Parenthood after his infamous radio interview.
Judicial Watch released the 115 pages of documents to the public on Wednesday. The requests were made on February 1, 2019 and centered around all records of communications of Northam or members of his staff related to “abortion, women’s reproductive health, and/or Virginia House Bill 2491.”
During the WTOP interview, Northam famously 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 desires. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
Directly after the interview, former policy director in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, Alexis Rogers, used ppav.org to send a message to Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia (PPAV) representative Missy Wesolowski, who then forwarded them to the Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Services, Gena Berger. Contained within were talking points for Northam.
According to Judicial Watch, these talking points were:
“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.”
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.
Planned Parenthood was also helping to make policy as Planned Parenthood’s legal analysts were offering amendments to Virginia bills in the legislature at the time:
On January. 20, 2019, LaTonya Joyner-Gregory, a policy analyst of Planned Parenthood, gives Berger suggested amendments to two “Maternal Mortality Bills” put forth in the Virginia legislature (HB 2581 and HB 2546). These amendments would require the state to investigate all pregnancy-related deaths.
One of Joyner-Gregory’s suggestions would require the investigators to consider “socioeconomic status and/or insurance status” of the deceased women as factors, as well as opioid/drug abuse issues. Joyner-Gregory also recommended that medical providers like “doulas” and “home health workers” be included on the investigative team “for breadth of experience and perspective, and adding language requiring that the team members receive training on “implicit bias, structural racism, and/or cultural sensitivity.”
Judicial Watch also uncovered requests for information and talking points from NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia:
The February 4, 2019, FOIA documents obtained by Judicial Watch show that on January 17, 2019, Michelle Woods, communications manager of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, 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]”
On January 16, 2019, Berger asked Woods 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.
That Northam’s office was so entrenched with abortion groups isn’t a surprise. As Nation Review’s Alexandra Desanctis noted, Northam had been funneled millions of dollars from Planned Parenthood and thousands from NARAL during his run for Governor:
The chummy relationship between Northam and Virginia’s prominent abortion-advocacy groups didn’t begin with these emails. During his 2017 campaign, Northam received $3 million from Planned Parenthood’s Virginia affiliate, as well as nearly $20,000 from NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, which endorsed him in the Democratic primary. That Northam would parrot pro-abortion talking points comes as little surprise.
Looking at the big picture, Northam isn’t just acting on information given to him by these groups, he’s acting as their puppet. Whenever his mouth moves, Planned Parenthood and NARAL are the ones doing the talking. They even seem to be doing the talking in the very bills that hit the floor in Virginia. Bills that attempt to promote infanticide, to boot.
This can only open the door wide open for corruption, especially since Planned Parenthood and NARAL have a lot of money to gain thanks to the obedience of a state Governor. This is more than just an advisor/advised type of relationship, this is abortion groups running the show.