Co-Sponsor of VA Late-Term Abortion Bill Apologizes: ‘I Did Not Read’ It

By Emily Ward | January 31, 2019 | 5:28pm EST
Virginia Delegate Dawn 
Adams (D). (YouTube)

( -- On Wednesday, Virginia State Delegate Dawn Adams (D) sent an email to her constituents apologizing for co-sponsoring a controversial bill that would legalize abortion in Virginia right up to the moment of birth.

“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,” Adams wrote. “If you follow my newsletter or have written to me to ask about my votes, you know that I do my best to read and research every bill I vote on.”

“But I did not read a bill I agreed to co-patron and that wasn’t smart or typical,” she said. “I will work harder and be better for it.”

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D), defending the abortion-at-birth
legislation on WTOP radio, Jan. 30, 2019. (YouTube)

“I am sorry that I did not exercise due diligence before this explosion of attention; had I done so, I would not have co-patroned,” she added.

The bill, which was introduced by Virginia Delegate Kathy Tran (D) on Monday, would allow third-trimester abortions if physicians decided that the pregnancy could “impair the mental or physical health of the woman” – nebulous phrasing that, in practice, would permit late-term abortions for virtually any reason.

Tran admitted that the bill would allow an infant to be aborted even as the woman was going into labor, or “dilating.”

Under the proposed new law, abortions would not have to be performed in hospitals, and physicians would not be required to offer women an ultrasound, materials illustrating fetal development at various stages of pregnancy, or even a “medical explanation” of the nature and risks of the abortion.

Also, only one physician would be required to certify that a third-trimester abortion was “necessary,” as opposed to three physicians.

Virginia Delegate Kathy Tran (D). (YouTube)

The video of the exchange between Tran and Virginia House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert (R), the state lawmaker who questioned her, has since gone viral, provoking massive criticism of the bill.

In response, Adams clarified her stance on the bill, writing that she “vaguely” remembered signing on to it “as a symbolic gesture for a woman’s right to choose,” but did not understand its full implications at the time.

“I thought this bill sought to solely reverse the onerous additions to the code made in 2012 by HB462,” Adams wrote. “While it did, it sought to do much more. Had I researched each line of removed language, I would have seen that, and known that there was more research to be done.”

According to Adams, these “onerous additions” made in 2012 included the “trans-abdominal ultrasound” and an “arduous protocol of medically unnecessary and mandated procedures,” such as the “medical explanation” and “an offer for the woman to speak with the physician who is to perform the abortion so that he may answer any questions that the woman may have.”

In her email, Adams emphasized her commitment to keeping abortion legal.

“None of this changes that I believe women must have safe legal options for abortion,” she wrote.

The bill was voted down in committee and Virginia Democrats have indicated they will not bring it up again this year.


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