Posted by 30 January 2019
Legislation to loosen restrictions on late-term abortions is causing controversy in Virginia as supporters and opponents argue over how close to birth abortions could be performed.
The bill in question would reduce the number of doctors required to approve a late-term abortion from 3 to 1 and would remove the requirement that late-term abortions could only be performed because of a medical health risk to the mother. It also allows these abortions to take place in facilities that are subject to fewer health regulations than in current law.
Opponents of the legislation say that this would remove important safeguards that prevent abortions from occurring up until the moment of birth. They point to a video of the bill’s sponsor in which she testifies that the bill would allow abortions until a few moments before delivery. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, a supporter of the legislation, also stoked controversy when he appears to discuss whether a doctor should resuscitate a baby who is born alive after an abortion attempt.
Supporters of the bill counter that in cases where these abortions would take place, they would involve situations with non-viable fetuses. They say that they are only talking about extreme situations, and that opponents are taking their words out of context.
With Republicans in control of both houses of the legislature, this late-term abortion bill is unlikely to make it to Gov. Northam’s desk.
Do you think that it should be easier for women to get late-term abortions?