Virginia Democratic Delegate Kathy Tran proposed legislation late last week in Virginia’s House of Delegates that would allow abortions up until the moment of birth.
The Repeal Act, introduced as HB2491, would eliminate all existing restrictions on abortion in the state of Virginia. A summary of the bill states:
Eliminates the requirement that an abortion in the second trimester of pregnancy and prior to the third trimester be performed in a hospital. The bill eliminates all the procedures and processes, including the performance of an ultrasound, required to effect a woman’s informed written consent to the performance of an abortion; however, the bill does not change the requirement that a woman’s informed written consent be first obtained. 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. The bill also removes language classifying facilities that perform five or more first-trimester abortions per month as hospitals for the purpose of complying with regulations establishing minimum standards for hospitals.
“For women seeking reproductive care, the additional costs and obstacles imposed by existing regulation could potentially include unpaid time off from work, hospital fees and other emotional distress,” Tran said, according to The Virginia Gazette. “These restrictions harm women and have disproportionate effects on low-income women and women of color in Virginia.”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) signed a similar bill into law last week that allowed for abortions to take place up until the moment of birth. The Daily Wire’s Amanda Prestigiacomo reported:
Along with allowing abortion up to the moment of birth, the so-called Reproductive Health Act also loosens restrictions on who performs them, and removes the fatal procedure from the state’s criminal code. “Every individual who becomes pregnant has the fundamental right to choose to carry the pregnancy to term, to give birth to a child, or to have an abortion,” reads the legislation signed by Cuomo.
So long as a licensed practitioner acts in “good faith,” says the law, an abortion can be performed “to protect the patient’s life or health.” Notably, “health” was defined by the Supreme Court (Doe v. Bolton) to broadly include “emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age.”
Here’s the exchange between Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) and Kathy Tran (D-Fairfax):
Gilbert: So how late in the third trimester would you be able to do that?
Tran: It’s very unfortunate that our physician witnesses were not able to attend today.
Gilbert: No, I’m talking about your bill. 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 the mental health.
Tran: Through the third trimester. The third trimester goes all the way up to 40 weeks.
Gilbert: Okay. But to the end of the third trimester?
Tran: Yep. I don’t think we have a limit in the bill.
Gilbert: Where it’s obvious a woman is about to give birth, that she has physical signs that she is about to give birth. Would that be a point at which she could still request an abortion if she was so certified? She’s dilating.
Tran: Mr. Chairman, that would be a decision that the doctor, the physician, and the woman would make at that point.
Gilbert: I understand that. I’m asking if your bill allows that.
Tran: My bill would allow that, yes.