Efforts in the Virginia General Assembly to allow abortions up until birth have been turned away – at least for now.
"We have defeated both of the attempts for that type of legislation. [But] they'll bring them back next year," warns Victoria Cobb of The Family Foundation of Virginia.
She's talking about HB 2491, legislation sponsored by Democratic State Delegate Kathy Tran that would remove all existing abortion restrictions in the state and permit abortion up to 40 weeks' gestation – in other words, right up until birth. The measure has been tabled by the subcommittee, but only by a single vote (5-3).
"For this year, for this moment, that is done," Cobb continues, "but we want to make sure people are vigilant, because we also have elections here in Virginia. So this fall, people will make decisions about what kind of lawmakers we want to send back to Richmond. I will tell you it's a difference of about two lawmakers in each body, the House and the Senate, that would have those bills passed."
Below is a recent exchange between Virginia House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert (R) and Representative Tran (D), who has just mentioned that the bill allows for abortion through the third trimester:
Gary Bauer of American Values reacts to that exchange:
"By any definition, this is infanticide. And why stop at birth?" he asks. "On what moral basis can the left say that if a mother gets depressed 24 hours later, she can't change her mind and be allowed to kill her baby then?"
The Democratic governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, weighed in on HB 2491 on Wednesday morning during an interview on WTOP. He was asked to explain Tran's answer to Gilbert's question and if he would support the bill. Bauer says the governor's "rambling response" strong implies he would:
Before entering politics, Northam was a pediatric neurologist.
The pro-life group Live Action argues that the governor's response "misled" those who listened to the interview and "convoluted" the issue at hand:
"... What Northam describes here – a terminally ill baby delivered alive and given proper medical care – is not what occurs during a third-trimester abortion. The way Gov. Northam answered this question was as if the preborn child was never injected with poison and killed during the abortion. His description of an infant being born alive and given care is what happens during a natural birth and a child dying from natural causes – not from the tools of an abortionist. A third-trimester abortion takes three or four days to complete, and involves injecting the baby with poison so his heart stops, then delivering a stillborn child."
Last week, New York enacted a new abortion law that removes restrictions on late-term abortions and makes it legal to abort a baby until the moment of birth. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Mexico are among other states that are currently trying to repeal restrictions on abortion.
GOP lawmaker from VA on 'Fox & Friends'
Virginia House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert (R) appeared on Fox & Friends on Thursday and shared that he's "horrified" by the bill brought forth by Democratic Delegate Kathy Tran: