It was a surreal segment of the Friday morning news. Just over the border in Columbia, Maryland, Fox 5 reporters were on the scene of a grisly homicide. "I want to remind viewers," the anchor warned, "that some of the details in this story are very graphic." There, in a quiet suburban neighborhood, police had stumbled on the body of a newborn baby -- dead, the anchor shook his head, "just moments after being born."
Fox 5's Ike Ejiochi was as horrified as everyone else. This was "a healthy, full-term child who was alive at the time of birth," he insisted. Investigators followed the trail of blood from a bathroom to the master bedroom and finally found the little newborn, "wrapped in a towel and zipped up in a plastic bag in a closet." From the Howard County police to the Fox 5 team, people on camera were appalled that anyone would be capable of such a thing. And yet, if this mother had been in a hospital -- and not her own home -- Democrats would be the first to argue: this wasn't a crime. It was a "choice."
But what may be first-degree murder in Maryland is being championed as a "personal medical decision" in Wisconsin. There, Governor Tony Evers (D), like the rest of his ridiculously out-of-step party, is perfectly okay with this kind of infanticide as long as it's done neatly and under the watchful eye of a health care professional. If your unwanted baby survives, Democrats would prefer that you kindly throw him away at a hospital -- not your townhouse closet. At least then, as Governor Ralph Northam (D-Va.) pointed out in comments earlier this year, "the infant would be kept comfortable."
After years of pro-life leadership in the state, the successor to Governor Scott Walker wants voters to know: there are far more important things to worry about than the brutal killing of newborn babies. "We have all sorts of issues to deal with in the state of Wisconsin," he told reporters, "and to pass a bill [like born-alive] seems to be not a productive use of time." Tell that to the hundreds of grown survivors like Melissa Ohden, Claire Culwell, Gianna Jessen, and Josiah Presley. Surely, their lives are worth the minute it would take Evers to sign on the dotted line?
Think again. The new governor says he can't be bothered to deal with something so "redundant." "I ran on the belief," Evers insisted, "and I still believe -- that women should be able to make choices about their health care," he insisted. Republicans like state Senate President Roger Roth couldn't believe his ears. Vetoing the measure, he argues, would mean Evers has "gone farther to the extreme than I imagined."
President Donald Trump, at a political rally filled to the rafters in Green Bay, was just as astounded. "Your Democrat governor here in Wisconsin shockingly stated that he will veto legislation that protects Wisconsin babies born alive," he said with disbelief. "The baby is born, the mother meets with the doctor, they take care of the baby, they wrap the baby beautifully, and then the doctor and the mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby. I don't think so. It's incredible."
Of course, the liberal media was out with its rebuttals in no time, arguing that the president was promoting an "incendiary falsehood." (If you're wondering how many "incendiary falsehoods" the CDC has tracked since 2002, try 143. And that's barely scratching the surface. Even the government points out that those are just the documented incidents from six states.) CNN, meanwhile, took particular exception to the word "execute," which they insist never happens. (Eyewitnesses from the clinics of Kermit Gosnell and Douglas Karpan would beg to differ. If snipping a newborn's spinal cord or snapping her neck isn't execution, what is?) The media can quibble on what to call it, but they can't quibble on the fact that it happens.
As for Governor Evers, he may have passed the test of the extreme Left, but he's failed the one on humanity. When it comes to the tragedy of infanticide, D.C.'s Fox 5 was right. It is graphic and disturbing. But as much as they'd advise viewer discretion, it might be voter discretion that makes all the difference.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.