President Trump criticized a proposed Virginia law that would allow women to terminate a pregnancy up to the moment before birth, calling it "terrible" and promising it would "lift up the whole pro-life movement like maybe it’s never been lifted up before."
Trump discussed the bill in an interview with The Daily Caller that was published late Wednesday.
The legislation became a subject of outrage among conservatives after a video emerged of Virginia Democratic Delegate Kathy Tran answering questions about the bill during a committee hearing. At one point, Tran was asked if a woman about to give birth and dilating could still request an abortion.
"My bill would allow that, yes." Tran answered.
"I thought it was terrible," Trump said of Tran's statements. "Do you remember when I said [during a 2016 presidential debate] Hillary Clinton was willing to rip the baby out of the womb? That’s what it is, that’s what they’re doing, it’s terrible."
Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a former pediatric neurologist, waded into the controversy Wednesday, telling WTOP radio that third-trimester abortions are done with "the consent of obviously the mother, with consent of the physician, multiple physicians by the way, and it’s done in cases where there may be severe deformities or there may be a fetus that’s not viable."
Northam then gave an example in which "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 the mother."
Northam's comments were met with further outrage from Republican lawmakers, who accused the governor of endorsing infanticide. The strongest statement came from Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., who called Northam's remarks "morally repugnant."
"In just a few years, pro-abortion zealots went from 'safe, legal, and rare' to 'keep the newborns comfortable while the doctor debates infanticide,'" Sasse said. "I don't care what party you’re from — if you can’t say that it’s wrong to leave babies to die after birth, get the hell out of public office."
Fox News' Adam Shaw contributed to this report.