The Pen

Virginia Republicans Defeat Democratic Bill Allowing Abortions up until Birth

January 30, 2019 [The Washington Times] Virginia Republicans defeated Tuesday a bill loosening abortion restrictions after the sponsor admitted that the legislation would allow the procedure even after the mother went into labor.

A House subcommittee voted 5-3 to table H.R. 2491, called the Repeal Act, with all Republicans voting to table it and all Democrats voting against.

“Virginia House Democrats proposed legislation to allow abortions up to just seconds before that precious child takes their first breath,” said the Virginia House Republicans said on Facebook. “Watch for yourself. Thankfully, our strong conservative majority was able to defeat this bill.”

In a viral video, Democratic Del. Kathy Tran acknowledged Tuesday that her bill would permit abortions on pregnant women at 40 weeks, the end of the third trimester, if deemed necessary to protect her mental or physical health.

“Heartbreaking,” the Virginia House GOP tweeted. “This isn’t in New York, this isn’t in California, this happened just this week right here in Virginia.”

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin called it a “sad commentary on the culture of death that continues to creep insidiously into the laws of our country.”

During the hearing, House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert asked Ms. Tran if it would be legal under her bill for a pregnant woman to receive an abortion after dilation begins.

“Mr. Chairman, you know, that would be a decision that the doctor — the physician — and the woman would make,” Ms. Tran said.

He replied, “I understand that. I’m asking if your bill allows that,” to which she replied, “My bill would allow that, yes.”

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam defended the bill in a Wednesday radio interview, saying “more than one physician” would make the determination, although the bill specifically eliminates the state’s current three-doctor requirement.

The H.B. 2491 summary reads: “The bill eliminates the requirement that two other physicians certify that a third trimester abortion is necessary to prevent the woman’s death or impairment of her mental or physical health, as well as the need to find that any such impairment to the woman’s health would be substantial and irremediable.”

Mr. Northam said that, “When we talk about third-trimester abortions, these are done with the consent of obviously the mother, with the consent of the physician — more than one physician, by the way — and it’s done in cases where there may be severe deformities.”

[Editor’s Note: This was written by Valerie Richardson and originally published at The Washington Times.]