Presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) is backing Virginia state lawmaker Kathy Tran, who proposed the legislation that would have allowed abortion in the state even as a woman is about to give birth.
“She has endured, she has persevered, and, all the while, with courage, she has been one of the strongest leaders that we have,” Harris said about Tran, reported the Washington Examiner.
“She is somebody who never puts up her finger and says, ‘Oh, is this going to be popular or not?’ You know that,” Harris added. “You know she’s taken on huge fights, in particular for the women of Virginia and the families that love them, saying it’s not about what’s popular at the moment. It’s about what’s right. And these are the kinds of leaders we need in our statehouses.”
Tran, who turned her seat in the Virginia House of Delegates from red to blue, proposed an abortion measure in January that set off a firestorm around the country and led to a national controversy over “infanticide” for Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam, who backed her legislation.
The state lawmaker’s bill would not only have allowed abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy in the state, but would have also permitted a woman to decide whether she wants to “abort” her baby as she is dilating and about to give birth.
Tran proposed the Repeal Act as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed into law the Reproductive Health Act, which eliminated recognition of “personhood” in the unborn and defined a “person” as a “human being who has been born and is alive.” Pro-life groups referred to the New York law as permitting “infanticide.”
The Virginia measure, which was ultimately tabled, would have eliminated the requirement that abortions in the second trimester of pregnancy be performed in a hospital, as well as the requirement of an ultrasound prior to an abortion. It also would have ended the requirement that two other physicians certify the necessity of a third-trimester abortion.
Northam’s comments during an appearance on WTOP-FM heightened the controversy over the bill when he commented on an “infant” delivered when the mother chose abortion while she is dilating:
If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.
After those comments, a spokesperson for the governor attempted to clarify his remarks by saying, “The governor’s comments were limited to the actions physicians would take in the event that a woman [facing nonviable pregnancy or severe fetal abnormalities] went into labor.”
Abortion rights activists immediately went into defense mode with the narrative that abortions performed at the point of birth are only carried out due to severe risks to the mother’s health or serious fetal anomalies.
However, a study the pro-abortion rights Guttmacher Institute released in 2013 found women seeking both first-trimester and late-term abortions provided the same reasons for delaying their abortions, including “not knowing about the pregnancy,” “trouble deciding about the abortion,” and “disagreeing about the abortion with the man involved.”
The study found that “most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.”
In response to Tran’s proposed legislation, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) said at the time, “I don’t care what party you’re from — if you can’t say that it’s wrong to leave babies to die after birth, get the hell out of public office.”
— The Daily Signal (@DailySignal) January 30, 2019
In January, a Marist poll found 75 percent of Americans want substantial restrictions on abortion, including 60 percent of Democrats and 61 percent of those who identify as “pro-choice.”