Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) took to his feet to applaud President Donald Trump’s call to end late-term abortion and his Democratic colleagues were not impressed.
During his State of the Union address, the president condemned the comments of Governor Ralph Northam (D-Va.) and called on Congress to put an end to late-term abortions.
President Trump: "To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother's womb" https://t.co/TreW1lnqhZ #SOTU pic.twitter.com/tykYQ9umnz
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) February 6, 2019
“Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth. These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world. And then, we had the case of the governor of Virginia where he stated he would execute a baby after birth. To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb. Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth — all children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God.”
While these comments were cheered loudly from the Republican side of the aisle, Manchin stood alone and applauded the call for action.
Afterward, Manchin told Real Clear Politics he stood because late-term abortions are “horrific.”
Asked Joe Manchin why he stood when Trump called for a 20 week abortion ban: “Late term abortions are just horrific…totally just wrong.”
— Philip Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) February 6, 2019
It didn’t take long for people to notice the glares at Manchin from the left throughout the night, especially those from Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was seated right behind him. He also caught their ire when he applauded America’s energy independence.
Hello, darkness my old friend pic.twitter.com/WsGtplC0wc
— Barstool News Network (@BarstoolNewsN) February 6, 2019
Joe Manchin popping up to clap is the best part of this gif. https://t.co/Vii8CSJ96h
— Cam Edwards (@CamEdwards) February 6, 2019
Actually it looks like she’s staring daggers at Joe Manchin https://t.co/OoF7On82cv
— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) February 6, 2019
While Manchin may have stood because he thinks late-term abortion is horrible, he didn’t make any friends in the process. Some even called him a disgrace while others pointed to conflicting photos of Manchin with a Planned Parenthood sign.
I'm down with this. I saw Manchin stalking Trump for the televised buddy shake. He's a disgrace. https://t.co/gAIn0xNyYv
— Tom Watson (@tomwatson) February 6, 2019
Nobody more conflicted on whether to sit or stand here than Joe Manchin pic.twitter.com/ROeUoODDGa
— Brent Scher (@BrentScher) February 6, 2019
Someone please show Manchin back to his correct seat.
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) February 6, 2019
Despite the ire he caught from some of his Democratic colleagues, Manchin did get some support from pro-life Americans. Moreso, the Democrats who remained seated were blasted by those who find late-term abortions abhorrent.
March for Life Action President Tom McClusky said in a statement:
“We applaud the President for condemning the extremist abortion propositions out of New York and Virginia and for calling on Congress to ban late-term abortion during his State of the Union Address. The American consensus opposes abortion after the first trimester, yet some politicians continue to embrace and perpetuate an unprecedentedly radical pro-abortion agenda. Among them are Virginia Governor Ralph Northam who recently condoned infanticide and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who, by bringing Planned Parenthood President Dr. Leana Wen as her guest tonight, has pledged her allegiance to an organization that continues to endorse legislation that allows abortion until birth. While politicians like these are in step with a powerful abortion lobby, they are out of touch with the American people.”
This isn’t an unusual position for Manchin, however. He, along with Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, tend to be swing votes on many divisive issues.