Virginia Dems Attempt to Pass Bill Allowing Abortions Up to 40 Weeks

January 29, 2019

A Democratic lawmaker in the Virginia House of Delegates proposed a bill that would allow for abortions through the end of the third trimester of pregnancy.

During Democratic Delegate Kathy Tran's presentation of the bill on Tuesday, Majority Leader Todd Gilbert (R.) asked her about the full extent of the bill's leniency.

"How late in the third trimester could a physician perform an abortion if he indicated that it would impair the mental health of the woman?" Gilbert asked.

"Or physical health," Tran said.

"Okay," Gilbert replied. "I'm talking about the mental health."

"I mean, through the third trimester," Tran said. "The third trimester goes up to 40 weeks."

"Okay, but to the end of the third trimester?" Gilbert asked.

"Yup, I don't think we have a limit in the bill," Tran said.

"Where it's obvious that a woman is about to give birth, she has physical signs that she's about to give birth, would that still be a point at which she could request an abortion if she was so certified?" Gilbert asked. "She's dilating."

Tran replied that was a decision the woman and her doctor would have to make before choosing to have an abortion. Gilbert asked specifically if the measure would allow for abortion right before birth.

"My bill would allow that, yes," Tran said.

Nearly half of the Democratic caucus supported the bill, called the Repeal Act, but when put to a vote, it was defeated. Gov. Ralph Northam (D.) has also voiced support for similar pro-abortion bills in the Virginia Senate, none of which have passed.

"When we can’t change people’s minds, we change seats," Northam said last week at a pro-abortion rally inside the State Capitol building after two bills failed to leave the Virginia Senate Committee on Education and Health.