A freshman lawmaker of the Virginia House of Delegates has introduced legislation that would lift restrictions on second and third trimester abortions. Strongly supported by the abortion lobby, HB2491 would remove the safety stipulations that dangerous late-term abortions be performed in a hospital setting.
While all abortion procedures carry risks to the mother, studies show gestational age is a major factor in abortion complications. Eliminating restrictions that make statistically riskier later-stage abortions safer for women would have a damaging effect on women’s health, and can also lead to greater instances of post-traumatic stress disorder.
According to multiple polls, a majority of Americans — more than 75 percent — believe abortion should be restricted to the first trimester of pregnancy. This includes even a majority of those who consider themselves to be “pro-choice.”
Virginia’s abortion restrictions were enacted in 2011 in response to former abortionist and convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell, whose squalid “house of horrors” facility, exposed in 2010, killed at least three born-alive infants and several women. The measures were intended to assure safety and cleanliness of facilities performing outpatient surgical procedures. Indeed, subsequent inspections showed that every abortion facility inspected had major safety violations. That same year, Virginia’s Board of Health enacted strict regulations on abortion facilities that were later removed in 2016 when then-Governor Terry McAuliffe replaced the board members with pro-abortion activists.
In addition to eliminating safety standards, Delegate Kathy Tran’s proposal would eliminate, according to Virginia’s Legislative Information System, “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,” as well as removing Virginia’s 24-hour waiting period, and making the abortions elective rather than out of a perceived medical “necessity.”
Great start to my week! Talked w/@PPAVirginia about my bill to repeal barriers to abortions; w/Northern VA neighbors about fighting climate change, independent redistricting, ratifying #ERA & raising min wage; & constituents & members of @IAFF2068 about protecting firefighters. pic.twitter.com/mgFGBXPXhQ
— Kathy Tran (@KathyKLTran) January 16, 2019
Tran’s proposal comes after Governor Ralph Northam proposed that Virginia codify a “right to abortion” in the state constitution. In his state of the Commonwealth address on January 9th, he said: “I’m proposing that we put into the Code of Virginia that a woman has the fundamental right to make her own health care decisions.”
A similar bill that came up the previous year subsequently died in committee. While these extreme measures are unlikely to pass the House, which along with the state Senate, has a thin Republican majority, it is possible they could be picked up again in the next legislative session after this November’s elections if more pro-abortion representatives are elected.