GOP’s Correct Interpretation Leads to Outrage Against Virginia Democrats
Thank you to Governor Northam and Delegate Kathy Tran for being able to do what nobody in the Republican Party of Virginia has been able to do for the last ten years – unite the Virginia GOP.
With maybe one notable exception (this group starts with “L” and ends with lost elections), the one issue that has united and continues to unite all flavor of Republicans in Virginia is our opposition to abortion. This is an issue that still drives turnout for the GOP, as much or more so than it does on the Democratic side. Which is generally why the Democrats don’t tend to go straight at it, knowing it has the potential to explode in their faces if they make a mistake.
And that’s exactly what Kathy Tran’s bill on abortion has done, with no small help from her own incompetence and Governor Northam’s clinical defense of what sounds to the average person on the street like infanticide. To be fair, there’s been a lot of misinformation out about what Tran’s bill would do, so here’s exactly what the bill does:
- Eliminates the requirement that a second trimester abortion be performed in a hospital;
- Removes all requirements required in order to validate a woman’s written consent to an abortion (basically removing the ultrasound requirement);
- Eliminates the requirement of three physicians to certify that a third trimester abortion is medically necessary;
- Removes the requirement that a facility that performs more than 5 first trimester abortions be regulated as a hospital under Virginia law.
Taken together, what this bill does is roll back every major GOP gain in the abortion fight over the last ten years. It also makes it much easier for a woman to get a third trimester abortion – effectively legalizing them – because removal of the three doctor certification means that women will be able to doctor shop to find an abortionist who is always willing to certify that the abortion is necessary to prevent an impairment of “mental health,” which is ambiguous enough to drive a train through.
When testifying about her bill before the committee, she did no favors for herself by seemingly being unable to answer basic questions that House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert posed to her. She’s now claiming that she “misspoke” in the hearing, which is convenient after she’s had a taste of a few solid days of negative national news coverage that accurately has portrayed this bill as doing what it was designed to do – loosen restrictions on abortion, make them less safe and less rare, and essentially open up third trimester abortions by removing the three doctor protection designed to ensure that only medically necessary late-term abortions be permitted.
The issue was compounded by Ralph Northam’s interview on WTOP’s Ask the Governor program. When speaking to NBC4’s Julie Carey, Governor Northam seemed unaware of some of the provisions in Tran’s bill, including the provision to remove the three-doctor rule. Northam then had a “wait, what?” moment when he seemed to be suggesting that a doctor and a woman could be allowed to perform an “abortion” after delivery by simply keeping a child comfortable and then deciding what to do with him. Many people jumped on that, rightly so, because, well, that’s not “abortion” anymore. It’s infanticide.
Listen to what Tran and Northam said for yourself. That’s not spin. That’s what they said. Northam has not walked back his statements, and at no point did he say he opposed Tran’s bill – the opposite, in fact, even though he did say he disagreed with some portions of it (the three doctor rule).
This is what Tran’s bill would do, and this is what Tran and Northam said about it. Now, Democrats are in a rush to try to deflect criticism over Tran and Northam’s statements by trying to pretend that the concerns that people have been expressing over this bill and these statements are all just “fake news” because the bill isn’t going anywhere, and nobody would ever consider getting an abortion in the third trimester just because they don’t want the kid anymore.
That’s the argument they’re making.
Which begs the question – why does this provision need to be rolled back if it’s preventing something that doesn’t actually happen in the first place?
And if that wasn’t good enough, you’ve got House Minority Leader Eileen Filler-Corn accusing Republicans from the floor of the House of Delegates of an “ambush,” and then stoking outrage for political gain. I guess everybody has already forgotten what Dave Albo and Jill Vogel went through during the “transvaginal ultrasound” debate a few years ago. Filler-Corn even went so far as to chastise the House GOP for ignoring the “Virginia Way,” which was rich coming from the party that’s been arguing for throwing the “Virginia Way” out the window for ages. Keep in mind, even though this bill has failed, the Democrats have made it clear they’re going to bring it up again, especially if they win back the House this fall.
Then, of course, we have our dear colleague DJ McGuire, running interference here for the Governor by doing what he’s very good at, which is missing the point entirely and focusing on something that really doesn’t matter. He spends most of his article focusing on the three doctor rule, as if that’s the real issue here. It’s not – the entire bill and the culture behind it that lets Democrats talk about killing kids like they’re returning a pair of pants that doesn’t fit is what Republicans find anathema. This bill rolls back all of the gains made by the GOP over the last ten years to prevent unnecessary abortions, provide women with all the information needed to make an informed choice, and to keep them safe by regulating abortion clinics the same way we regulate hospitals. That’s why we don’t like it.
Safe, legal and rare has been the Democratic mantra on abortion since Bill Clinton’s time. This bill makes abortion less safe and would likely make it less rare. If anything is driving the outrage, it’s the hypocrisy. The other thing that’s driving the outrage is that Democrats have started doing what they always do when they think they’re winning – they overreach.
This bill is just another in a laundry list of Democratic wish-list items that Kathy Tran has dropped bills over this year. In addition to this one, she’s also dropped bills that would allow illegal immigrants to get driver’s licenses, would ban so-called “high capacity” magazines (anything over 10 rounds) from guns and rifles, and adds pregnancy and “lactation” to the anti-discrimination requirements of the Virginia Human Rights Act. These are all pretty standard Democratic priorities – the kinds of bills Democrats put up and then immediately send out a fundraising email about. The chances of any of them passing is nil, especially given Tran’s record in the GA – she’s gotten one bill passed that was so innocuous it’s hard to argue it actually did anything. And in what is the typical tone-deafness of your average freshman, she has dropped a bill that’s designed to help kids with disabilities in getting accommodations from school districts – the same kids she wants to make it easier abort with her abortion bill.
This is textbook Democratic behavior when Democrats think they’re winning.
This bill is nothing more than political hubris. Tran and the rest of the “new” progressive wing of the Democratic Party in Virginia are riding high right now, looking forward to taking back the General Assembly this year because of the unpopularity of Donald Trump in the Commonwealth. That belief has given them the courage to take off the moderate mask and put up divisive legislation that reflects what they actually believe, rather than stay low and not risk rocking the boat until they’ve actually taken control. Tran didn’t drop any bills on abortion, gun control, or immigration in 2018. But now, in an election year, she’s throwing out all the red meat.
Bottom line, despite all the attempts to clarify and the backtracking and the help from the liberal media in interpreting what Tran and Northam said as if people are too stupid to understand what they hear with their own ears, the Democrats deserve the criticism they’re getting. Not just for this bill and for the comments made by Tran and Northam in defending it, but for their continuing attitudes around abortion.
This isn’t faux outrage, and it’s not based on “misinterpretation.” This is what Democrats believe.
Hold them accountable for it.