Virginia State Proposes Bill that Would Allow Termination Until Moment of Birth
The abortion debate erupted anew this week after a video surfaced showing the Democratic sponsor of a Virginia abortion proposal acknowledging it could allow women to terminate a pregnancy up until the moment before birth, for reasons including mental health.
“First New York, and now a proposed Virginia bill that would legalize abortion up to the moment of birth,” tweeted Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin. “This is a sad commentary on the culture of death that continues to creep insidiously into the laws of our [country].”
Under current Virginia law, abortions during the third trimester require a determination by a doctor and two consulting physicians that continuing the pregnancy would likely result in the woman’s death or “substantially and irremediably” impair her mental or physical health.
The bill, proposed in the Virginia House of Delegates by Democrat Kathy Tran, would require only one doctor to make the determination that the pregnancy threatens the woman’s life or health. The proposed legislation would also eliminate the requirement that abortions during the second trimester be performed in a state-licensed hospital.
Tran, who deleted her Twitter account soon after the criticism began, released a statement Wednesday about the bill urging lawmakers to “trust women to make their own healthcare decisions.”
“These decisions are personal and private, and they are made in consultation with doctors who are using their best medical judgement,” she said, according to the Richmond Times Dispatch.
“I regret that these partisan games have taken the focus away from where it should be: on the Virginian women who have asked for this bill to get politicians out of their private medical decisions.”
In an interview with local radio station WTOP on Wednesday morning, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said the situation had been “really blown out of proportion.”
“We want the government to not be involved in these types of decisions,” he said. “We want the decisions to be made by the mothers and their providers.”
Several Republicans blasted Northam over another portion of the interview, when he discusses abortions in the third trimester.
When asked about third trimester abortions specifically, the governor said, “If a mother is in labor…the infant would be delivered.”
“The infant would be kept comfortable,” he continued. “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 mother.”