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Her Abortion Bill Failed, but Her Comments Spurred Outrage

Failed legislation on late-term procedures in Virginia becomes national political issue
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2019 8:08 AM CST
Del. Kathy Tran, D-Fairfax, listens to a speech on the floor of the House during session at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

(Newser) – A bill in Virginia that would have lifted restrictions on late-term abortions has failed, but the controversy and political fallout over the legislation is only growing. One Democratic lawmaker has taken the unusual step of apologizing for co-sponsoring the bill, saying she wasn't aware of all its details. Meanwhile, President Trump has entered the fray to criticize the state's Democratic governor, Ralph Northam, over the measure. And video of the bill's author being questioned about the details—and acknowledging that it would permit abortions up until the moments before birth—is making the rounds. Details:

  • The bill: It would have made it easier for women whose health was in danger to get third-trimester abortions, reports the AP. For example, the number of doctors required to certify the need would have dropped from three to one.
  • The video: The legislation is from Democratic state lawmaker Kathy Tran, and in this video, Republican Todd Gilbert questions her about its details. He offers a hypothetical about a woman in labor "dilating" and requesting an abortion under Tran's bill. "I'm asking if your bill allows that," he says when Tran begins explaining the decision process between doctor and patient. "My bill would allow that, yes." The state GOP party has been sending the video out in fundraising emails, reports the Washington Post.

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