Virginia Delegate Kathy Tran on Thursday defended her bill that would have loosened abortion restrictions, saying the proposal was nothing unusual and she was “really surprised” by the reaction.
In a video, she said her bill, known as the Repeal Act, would “repeal the medically unnecessary and unduly burdensome barriers that Virginia women face when they’re accessing this health care service in consultation with their doctor.”
“I presented my bill this week, and I was really surprised by the line of questioning that I got,” she said. “This bill had been introduced in the General Assembly in previous years, and in fact this session was also introduced in our state Senate.”
Ms. Tran downplayed the significance of H.R. 2491, saying, “Right now women are able to access an abortion in the later stages of pregnancy under certain conditions with the approval of medical doctors.”
“I’ve done nothing to change that,” she said in her Thursday video. “What I have done is try to make sure women are able to make these decisions and access these services in a timely manner.”
Her response prompted pushback from National Review Online’s Alexandra DeSanctis, who called the Democratic lawmaker’s claims “patently false,” while conservative pundit David A. French said the bill “functionally renders third-trimester abortions generally legal.”
“It takes nothing more than the agreement of a mother and doctor that there is any degree of even mental impairment to kill a child. Are Virginia Democratic lawmakers ready to go that far? If so, is that position a matter of conviction, or of fear?” Mr. French said.
The legislation, which was tabled on a 5-3 party-line vote Tuesday by a state legislative subcommittee, sparked national outrage, including a rebuke from President Trump, after she testified that the measure would allow abortions to be performed after the start of labor.
“My bill would allow that, yes,” Ms. Tran replied after House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert asked if abortions could take place even when a woman is dilating and “it’s obvious a woman is about to give birth.”
The bill would eliminate the three-physician requirement for a third-trimester abortion, allowing a woman and her doctor to make the call if the pregnancy “is likely to result in the death of the woman or impair the mental or physical health of the woman.”
She said her bill has received a positive response from many women “who support my efforts to make sure that politicians don’t get between a woman and her health care decision.”
“I appreciate their support and I will continue to stand with the women of Virginia. Thank you,” Ms. Tran said.
Gov. Ralph Northam was accused of supporting infanticide after he defended the bill in a Wednesday radio interview, saying that in those cases, “The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable.”
“The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother,” said Mr. Northam, a former pediatric neurologist.
He later tweeted, “I have devoted my life to caring for children and any insinuation otherwise is shameful and disgusting.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Trump tweeted Thursday that the “Democrats are becoming the Party of late term abortion, high taxes, Open Borders and Crime!”
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