(CNSNews.com) -- One day after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) explained how proposed Democratic legislation would allow abortion up to the day of birth and even permit born infants to die, the head of the Catholic diocese for Northern Virginia, Bishop Michael Burbidge, denounced the "extreme abortion" proposal and described the governor's views as bordering on "infanticide."
"Since the beginning of the session of the General Assembly of the State of Virginia on January 9 of this year, we have witnessed the introduction of extreme legislation on abortion that culminated in an attempt to enact a law similar to that recently enacted in the State from New York," said Bishop Burbidge, who oversees the Diocese of Arlington, Va., in a Jan. 31 statement.
"This bill was rejected with just reason but, like so many people of goodwill, I am most concerned about its introduction," he said. "This law could have opened the way for babies to suffer a violent and horrifying death just before birth and have been harmful to women."
"I hope that the disapproval of this bill will be due to the fact that the elected authorities of the state legislature have recognized that it constituted an impermissible evil and offense against human life and against our collective decency," said the bishop.
"The abortion of a baby in the final stage of pregnancy is comparable to infanticide," he said. "Our governor, however, may be willing to cross that border and go even farther."
The bishop continued, "In a staggering admission, Governor Northam stated that after an infant is delivered, the mother and the family should keep the baby comfortable, resuscitate the child "if that's what the mother and the family desire," and "a discussion would ensue." This attitude -- and the bill that was defeated this week -- reflects a new level of deep-rooted animus against the inherent goodness of every child."
"This is a critical moment in the life of our Church and our society," said Bishop Burbidge. "I call on the faithful and people of good will to advocate for the right to life of all people, including the unborn and those whose lives are at risk even during the process of birth."
"In Virginia, with the assistance of the Virginia Catholic Conference, we must make our views known to our elected officials on all issues where the right to life is at stake," he said.
In conclusion, the bishop said that "through the Diocese of Arlington, we continue to offer assistance to expectant families in need and to those who are suffering after an abortion. Families who need help should contact the diocesan Office of Marriage, Family and Respect Life:."