Virginia Democrats Propose Bill Allowing Abortions Until Birth

Virginia Democrats Propose Bill Allowing Abortions Until Birth

The removal of these standards is essentially allowing abortion-on-demand, even up until moments before birth.
Madeline Osburn
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Democrats in the Virginia statehouse presented a bill on Monday that would repeal restrictions on abortion, allowing terminations up until the moment of birth. This bill comes on the heels of New York passing a similar law last week, setting a new goal for what pro-abortion Democrats view as a achievable in other states.

The Repeal Act, which is backed by Gov. Ralph Northam, was presented in a subcommittee hearing this week by Virginia Delegate Kathy Tran. The bill would remove ultrasound requirements, remove Virginia’s 24-hour waiting period, allow abortion providers to determine that a woman’s physical or mental health necessitates a late-term abortion, and reduces requirements for clinic health and safety standards.

When questioned by subcommittee chairman Todd Gilbert in Monday’s hearing, Tran confirmed that a woman going into labor at 40 weeks’ gestation, which is a full-term baby, would be eligible for an abortion.

“How late in the third trimester could a physician perform an abortion if he indicated it would impair the mental health of the woman?” Gilbert asked.

“Through the third trimester,” responded Tran. “The third trimester goes all the way up to 40 weeks.”

“Where it’s obvious that a woman is about to give birth, that she has physical signs that she is about to give birth, would that still be a point at which she could request an abortion if she was so certified?” Gilbert asked.

“She’s dilating,” he continued, using the term for a woman’s cervix naturally opening to allow a baby to exit his mother during birth. “I’m asking if your bill allows that.”

“My bill would allow that, yes,” she said.

Tran acknowledged the bill would be changing the standards for which third-trimester abortions would be allowed, including what qualifies as a threat to the mother’s health.

The current law states that abortions in the third trimester require a woman’s physician and two consulting independent doctors certify, “that in their medical opinion…the continuation of the pregnancy is likely to result in the death of the woman or substantially and irremediably impair the mental or physical health of the woman.”

Tran confirmed that her bill removes the language “substantially and irremediably,” allowing doctors to terminate a healthy baby, even when it wouldn’t physically harm the mother, and without a second or third doctor’s medical opinion.

“You do acknowledge that you substantially change the standard, by removing a couple words here, correct?” asked Gilbert. “Line 80 , you are changing the standard under which the judgement call is made.”

“Yes, I’m aware. I’m changing the standard, yes,” Tran said.

When asked about specifications for what type of mental health condition would justify an abortion, Tran was unable to give a clear answer. The removal of these standards is essentially allowing abortion-on-demand, even up until moments before birth.

When Dr. Kermit Gosnell was convicted in Philadelphia in 2013, his crimes included murdering babies who had been born alive, snipping spinal cords, and performing late-term abortions. Now, late-term abortions like those he performed are legal in the state of New York, and if Tran’s bill were to pass, in the state of Virginia. That’s because these bills also decriminalize crimes against unborn babies.

For now, the subcommittee recommended the Virginia Repeal Act to be laid on the table, but is not expected to pass, with Republicans holding a small margin of the House and Senate. Nevertheless, the passage of New York Gov. Cuomo’s “Reproductive Health Act” has opened the flood gates to allowing what many consider infanticide.

Three out of four Americans support abortion restrictions and believe abortions should not be legal after the first trimester, according to a recent Marist Poll. The first trimester ends after 12 weeks of gestation. Yet Democrats maintain that abortion at any stage, including when a baby is fully developed and ready to take his first breath, is to championed and celebrated. We can expect to see this mindset spread and pass similar legislation in states where Democrats are in control.

Madeline is a staff writer at the Federalist and the producer of The Federalist Radio Hour. Follow her on Twitter.

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