Virginia Delegate Kathy Tran attempted to backtrack Thursday from her horrendous plans to legalize abortion up to birth by claiming that people are spreading “a lot of misinformation” about her bill.
Earlier this week, a video of Tran went viral when she told a fellow lawmaker that her bill would allow unborn babies to be aborted up to the point when a woman is in labor – even if there is no physical threat to her health. A committee defeated the bill, but many state Democrats, including Gov. Ralph Northam, have maintained their support of it.
WTOP reports Tran released a video response on Thursday in defense of her now-failed bill.
“Over the last few days, you may have heard a lot of misinformation about my bill to help women make their own healthcare decisions in consultation with their doctors,” Tran said. “Here are the facts, straight from me.”
She claimed her bill did nothing to change current Virginia law about third-trimester abortions.
“I want to be very clear about what’s currently allowed in Virginia law,” Tran said. “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, but what I have done is to make sure that women are able to make these decisions and access these services in a timely manner.”
Virginia House Republicans responded Friday with a video of Tran contradicting her own claims about the law.
“For an abortion at any point in the third trimester, you’re changing the standard?” a lawmaker asks her during a recent committee hearing.
“I’m changing the standard, yes,” Tran responds.
The text of her bill is clear on this as well. It strikes out language in the current law allowing third-trimester abortions only when the pregnancy “is likely to result in the death of the woman or substantially and irremediably impair the mental or physical health of the woman.” The bill takes out “substantially and irremediably,” thereby allowing abortions for any loosely defined “health” reason.
Tran also told The Washington Post that she “misspoke” when she said her bill allows abortions up to the point of labor.
“I should have said: ‘Clearly, no because infanticide is not allowed in Virginia, and what would have happened in that moment would be a live birth,’” she said.
But her bill does not say that abortions are prohibited if the mother is in labor. Without a specific prohibition, unborn babies could be aborted up to the moment of birth. Infanticide refers to a baby who has been born or partially born.
Jeryl Bier, a writer for the Wall Street Journal and National Review, made an interesting observation in response:
Oops… so everyone who was defending what she said as just fine is now endorsing infanticide according to the bill’s author… pic.twitter.com/mtrDV4riNf
— Jeryl Bier (@JerylBier) January 31, 2019
Tran’s bill would have repealed most abortion restrictions in Virginia and allowed unborn babies to be aborted for any mental or physical health reason through the third trimester.
Additionally, under the bill, second- and third-trimester abortions would not have had to be performed in a hospital, and ultrasounds would not have been required as part of a woman’s informed consent. The bill also would have repealed a requirement that two physicians certify that a third-trimester abortion is necessary to protect the woman’s life or health.
Pro-abortion Gov. Northam and state Attorney General Mark Herring both support the pro-abortion bill.
However, polls indicate the legislation is radically out of touch with most Americans’ views on abortion. According to a national poll conducted by Marist University, three in four Americans (75 percent) say abortion should be limited to – at most – the first three months of pregnancy. This includes most of those who identify as Republicans (92 percent), Independents (78 percent) and a majority of Democrats (60 percent). It also includes more than six in 10 (61 percent) who identify as “pro-choice” on abortion.
This has played out this week in the strong outrage in response to Tran’s bill as well as a new law in New York that legalizes abortions up to birth.