A Virginia Democratic delegate is expressing regret for cosponsoring controversial legislation that would have allowed babies to be aborted up until the last second of birth, even while the mother is in labor.
In an email Wednesday, Del. Dawn Adams (D-Richmond) apologized for not exercising "due diligence" by closely examining the language of The Repeal Act before attaching her name to it.
"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," she wrote. "I did not read a bill I agreed to co-patron and that wasn't smart or typical. I will work harder and be better for it."
Earlier this week, Del. Kathy Tran (D-Fairfax) was seen defending the bill during a heated exchange with Del. Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) in a video that's now gone viral.
Heartbreaking... This isn't in New York, this isn't in California, this happened just this week right here in Virginia. @VAHouseDems proposed legislation to provide abortions up to just seconds before that precious child takes their first breath. Watch for yourself. pic.twitter.com/AxgPVyI6kU
— VA House GOP (@vahousegop) January 29, 2019
On Thursday, the Democratic lawmaker sought to clarify her position in a video message she released on Twitter.
"Over the last few days, you may have heard a lot of misinformation about my bill to help women make their own healthcare decisions in consultation with their doctors. Here are the facts, straight from me," Tran tweeted.
Over the last few days, you may have heard a lot of misinformation about my bill to help women make their own healthcare decisions in consultation with their doctors.
— Kathy Tran (@KathyKLTran) January 31, 2019
The response from the pro-life community was swift and brutal, with Live Action quoting part of the exchange between Delegates Gilbert and Tran: "A woman is about to give birth... she's dilating... would that still be a point at which she could still request an abortion?" "My bill would allow that, yes" Those are the facts, straight from you. Abhorrent."
"A woman is about to give birth... she's dilating... would that still be a point at which she could still request an abortion?"
"My bill would allow that, yes"
Those are the facts, straight from you.
— Live Action (@LiveAction) January 31, 2019
— Live Action (@LiveAction) January 31, 2019
Meanwhile, the pro-life Susan B. Anthony also shot back at Del. Tran with its own tongue-in-cheek retort:
— Susan B. Anthony List (@SBAList) January 31, 2019
And another pro-life advocate, Conservative in Marin, tweeted: "This is the BEST part, by far: you submitted a bill to SAVE THE CATERPILLARS on the same friggin day..."
This is the BEST part, by far: you submitted a bill to SAVE THE CATERPILLARS on the same friggin day...https://t.co/jPEnXOkJNt
— Conservative in Marin (@JNOV57) January 31, 2019
Even Del. Adams acknowledged that the scenario Gilbert described during his back and forth with Tran amounted to "partial birth infanticide."
"This remains a crime and would not be something any sane licensed physician would perform," Adams wrote.
Meanwhile, Delegate Scott Garrett (R-Lynchburg) vowed to continue to fight for the cause of the unborn, driving the point home with a personal story of his own.
"A lady in my district, a constituent of mine, 16 years ago, 35 years old, she became pregnant. If you're going to deliver at 36 years or older, you are deemed to be at high risk," he said.
He explained that because there was no "high-risk OB doctor in Lynchburg," they were forced to travel to Charlottesville's University of Virginia medical center for treatment.
"The standard of care then…was to do an ultrasound of the baby, of the developing fetus, and they measure the fat pad at the base of the back of the neck, and they're looking for one number – three millimeters," he explained. "If that fat pad is thicker than three millimeters, Mr. Speaker, she was told that there was a higher than 80 percent chance that that baby would be born with neurologic deficits."
"Three millimeters, Mr. Speaker," Garrett reiterated. "That was 16 years ago."
"My 16-year-old son is a good boy, Mr. Speaker. He's a good student. And for three millimeters, someone would have taken the life of my son," he said. "Mr. Speaker, I'm not going to let anyone take the life of my son, and I'm not going to vote to allow other people to take the lives of other people's sons."
Watch Garrett's full testimony below: