Democratic delegate Kathy Tran has introduced a bill in Virginia’s House of Delegates that would legalize abortion up to birth. When questioned about the bill today by Republican delegate Todd Gilbert, the Virginia House majority leader, Tran acknowledged that it would allow abortion even at the very end of pregnancy when a woman was going into labor.
The bill is called the Repeal Act because it would remove all existing restrictions on abortion in Virginia. That includes permitting abortion in the last three months of pregnancy, eliminating informed-consent and clinic-safety requirements, permitting late-term abortions to be performed in outpatient clinics, and removing pro-life initiatives such as ultrasound requirements and the state’s 24-hour waiting period. It has the backing of Virginia’s Democratic governor Ralph Northam.
Here’s part of their back-and-forth during questioning:
Gilbert: So how late in the third trimester could a physician perform an abortion if he indicated it would impair the mental health of the woman?
Tran: Or physical health.
Gilbert: Okay. I’m talking about mental health.
Tran: I mean, through the third trimester. The third trimester goes all the way up to 40 weeks.
Gilbert: So to the end of the third trimester?
Tran: Yes. I don’t think we have a limit in the bill.
Gilbert: So where it’s obvious that a woman is about to give birth, she has physical signs that she’s about give birth, would that still be a point at which she could still request an abortion if she was so certified? [pause] She’s dilating?
Tran: Mr. Chairman, you know, that would be a decision that the doctor, the physician, and the woman would make.
Gilbert: I understand that. I’m asking if your bill allows that.