Late term abortions in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy would face drastically fewer restrictions, under the terms of legislation introduced by Delegate Kathy Tran (D-Springfield).
The measure, filed as HB2491 by the freshman Democrat from Northern Virginia, would remove a number of requirements in current law, including one specifying that second trimester late term abortions be performed at a hospital properly equipped to save a woman’s life in the event the procedure is botched by the abortionist.
Additionally, the bill would exempt abortion clinics from a long list of health and safety standards established by state regulators for the purpose of protecting patients from unsafe clinics, like the Philadelphia “House of Horrors” run by disgraced abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who is currently serving life without parole in Pennsylvania for murdering three infant children who were born alive.
Also included in Tran’s legislation are provisions repealing the 24-hour waiting period, eliminating the informed consent materials which must be provided, and striking the requirement that women seeking late term abortions first receive an transabdominal ultrasound, which under current law, must be made available to the patient by the abortionist, if she wishes to view it.
Finally, the bill would repeal an existing law requiring that two independent physicians must certify the medical necessity of abortions performed in the third trimester of pregnancy.
Under Tran’s legislation, an abortionist would be allowed to self-certify what he or she says is the necessity of the procedure, without independent verification from two consulting physicians.
Tran, a freshman lawmaker first elected in 2017, made abortion a top issue of her campaign, personally attacking her opponent over her pro-life positions. During that run, Tran received endorsements from Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia.
Tran joins Governor Ralph Northam in calling for expanding abortion in Virginia. Earlier this week, Northam called for creating a “fundamental right” to abortion in the Code of Virginia, in his remarks delivered during the annual State of the Commonwealth address.
While the bill is considered unlikely to advance in the pro-life House this year, it could potentially make headway during the next session, if pro-choice candidates pick up additional seats during November’s elections.
Republicans currently control the House and Senate by a one vote majority in each chamber.
Tran’s bill will be considered by lawmakers during the legislative session, which began Wednesday and is scheduled to last 45 days, through mid-February.