Third Trimester Abortion Bill


Tyler Kieft, Staff Writer

Virginia Delegate, Kathy Tran has recently been brought to the attention of many conservative and liberal activists due to a bill that she brought to the floor of the House of Delegates last month. Concerning third-trimester abortions, the law reignited the debate of whether the loosening of restrictions of third-trimester abortions are moral or should be legally discussed.

Currently, a woman can end a third-trimester pregnancy under only certain circumstances and with the approval of at least three certified physicians. The legislation in place right now states that the procedure must be necessary to prevent a woman’s death or “substantial and irremediable” harm to her mental or physical health.

The new legislation proposed by Tran would pull back on the limitations to go through with such a procedure. No longer would a woman need the approval of three physicians or the verification that the procedure is for health reasons. With this bill, one could receive an abortion with the approval of only one physician and without the rule for physical and mental risks being present. This would allow for abortions to be performed on healthy babies that are extremely close to entering the real world.

It begs the question of whether this is a moral thing to be performing on a healthy baby ready to start living life. Many have suggested that if one does not want to keep the child, to simply give birth to it and then put them up for adoption, rather than killing it. Republican Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel mocked Democratic Governor Ralph Northam in a recent tweet, stating that there are no “born-alive” abortions. All abortions end in death and the only way someone could get rid of a healthy child immediately is through the adoption process after birth.

Most people that agree with third-trimester abortions only stand by it under certain circumstances, specifically the current legislation. If a fetus has brain malformations, poor lung development, etc. then a third-trimester abortion would make sense, freeing the child from its suffering before they get a chance to experience it.

For example, Erika Christensen, a woman who aborted in May of 2016, never wanted out of her pregnancy. She was “thrilled” to discover her pregnancy after suffering a miscarriage at ten weeks, only months before. After thirty weeks of development, however, the news was broken to her by her doctor that the baby was not swallowing. “Swallowing is how the baby practices breathing on the outside. If he cannot swallow, he will not be able to breathe.” If the baby was to be born, it would die in a matter of minutes due to the inability to breathe. In this case, the family aborted in the third-trimester, in a time of physical and mental health risks to the child.

Kathy Tran, however, wants to do away with that way of thinking, extending third trimester abortions to any pregnant woman who desires one, causing controversy and rising backlash from many.