Republicans Block Democratic Bill Allowing Abortions Up Until Birth
Virginia House GOP defeats Democrats' proposed new legislation
Virginia Republicans swooped in and blocked a proposed Democratic bill that would allow abortions to take place up until the point of birth in the state.
The new legislation would have loosened current abortion restrictions, with the bill’s sponsor, House Delegate Kathy Tran, D-Fairfax, reluctantly admitting to House Majority Leader C. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, it would allow the procedure even after a mother went into labor.
A subcommittee of the House Courts of Justice committee voted 5-3 to table H.R. 2491, called the Repeal Act.
All Republicans voted to table it while all Democrats voted against.
“Virginia House Democrats proposed legislation to allow abortions up to just seconds before that precious child takes their first breath,” the Virginia House Republicans said on Facebook.
“Watch for yourself. Thankfully, our strong conservative majority was able to defeat this bill.”
Democratic Delegate Kathy Tran acknowledged in a viral video on Tuesday that her bill would allow abortions at 40 weeks, the end of the third trimester if deemed necessary to protect a mother's mental or physical health.
“Heartbreaking,” tweeted the Virginia House GOP.
“This isn’t in New York, this isn’t in California, this happened just this week right here in Virginia.”
According to the Washington Times, 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 subcommittee hearing, House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert asked Ms. Tran if it would be legal under her bill for a 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.
“I understand that. I’m asking if your bill allows that,” Mr. Gilbert said.
“My bill would allow that, yes,” Ms. Tran said.
Heartbreaking... This isn't in New York, this isn't in California, this happened just this week right here in Virginia. @VAHouseDems proposed legislation to provide abortions up to just seconds before that precious child takes their first breath. Watch for yourself. pic.twitter.com/AxgPVyI6kU— VA House GOP (@vahousegop) January 29, 2019
Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, defended the bill in a Wednesday radio interview, saying “more than one physician” would make the determination, although the bill specifically would eliminate the state’s current three-doctor requirement.
Northan seemingly went one step further than Tran's proposal by suggesting that a mother could just choose to allow the child to be "terminated" after birth if she decides she doesn't want the baby.
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, a former pediatric neurologist, said: “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.”
“There may be a fetus that’s non-viable,” he said on WTOP during the “Ask the Governor” segment, according to National Review.
Democrats in several states have introduced legislation to “codify” the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, but some bills go beyond the ruling by loosening restrictions on abortions up to 40 weeks’ gestation.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, signed last week the Reproductive Healthcare Act, which allows abortions up to 40 weeks to protect the woman’s mental or physical health.
“With the cheers of New York legislators and Governor Andrew Cuomo over the signing of now a law allowing abortion up to the moment of birth still ringing in our ears, Virginia legislators rush to join in, essentially working for legal infanticide,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America.