A Democratic member of the Virginia House of Delegates is hastily backtracking on her support of fellow Democratic delegate Kathy Tran’s radical “Repeal Act” proposal, which would allow abortions to take place during delivery.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports:
In a newsletter, Del. Dawn Adams, D-Richmond, said she “did not exercise due diligence” before co-sponsoring the abortion legislation with Del. Kathy Tran, D-Fairfax. Tran became the focus of a social media firestorm this week after Republicans circulated video of her saying the bill would allow abortions up until the moment of birth if one doctor certified that the mother’s physical or mental health was at risk.
“I made a mistake, and all I know to do is to admit it, tell the truth, and let the chips fall where they may,” said Adams, a first-term delegate who won a close upset victory in 2017 in her suburban district and could face a competitive re-election campaign this year.
In the newsletter, Adams noted that though she remained committed to preserving so-called abortion rights, Tran’s bill went too far:
Adams, a nurse practitioner, said she believes women have “full authority to decide what is best for themselves and their bodies.” But she said she mistakenly believed Tran’s bill would only repeal “onerous” abortion restrictions Republicans imposed in 2012.
“While it did, it sought to do much more,” Adams said. “Had I researched each line of removed language, I would have seen that, and known that there was more research to be done. None of this changes that I believe women must have safe legal options for abortion; but I also would have seen the utility of language that provides guidelines for how to ensure this.”
Whether Adams is doing this because of politics or because of a genuine change of heart remains to be seen, but her response to the outcry over the proposed legislation is light years better than that of Virginia’s Democratic Governor Ralph Northam.
Northam faced a storm of criticism yesterday after an interview with WTOP in which he rather clinically and coldly explained that the bill allowed babies to be aborted during birth.
Later in the day in a statement, Northam accused his critics of taking his comments out of context and playing politics with a woman’s right to choose – but he also inadvertently admitted that abortions would be permitted on viable babies in the third trimester and at birth:
And there we go. Contrary to Northam's journalist defenders, who leapt to proclaim he was only talking about nonviable babies, he was also talking about babies with severe abnormalities. https://t.co/O4Udt0UIcn
— Gabriel Malor (@gabrielmalor) January 30, 2019
And when that wasn’t good enough, the governor took to Twitter Wednesday evening to express his “disgust” with the criticism of his remarks:
I have devoted my life to caring for children and any insinuation otherwise is shameful and disgusting.
— Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) January 31, 2019
Perhaps the people of Virginia know that he has dedicated his life to helping children and are rightly demanding an explanation as to how a pediatric neurologist like Northam could unapologetically throw his weight behind a bill that makes third trimester abortions easier to get, including allowing for a viable baby to be aborted during birth.
It’s a legit question that deserves a legit answer. Dawn Adams stepped up to the plate, but so far Northam insists on playing hardball. Continuing to do so ultimately may prove damaging to any potential higher office aspirations later on.*
*Correction: Virginia governors cannot serve two consecutive terms in office. This article has been updated to reflect that information.
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