A state lawmaker in Virginia apologized to her constituents Thursday for failing to read controversial abortion legislation before she co-sponsored it.
Del. Dawn Adams, D-Richmond, said she “made a mistake” when she did not read fellow Del. Kathy Tran’s bill that would allow abortions in the third trimester.
“I vaguely remember signing on to this, and I did this in solidarity with my colleague and as a symbolic gesture for a woman’s right to choose,” Adams said. “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.”
The bill, which never made it out of a subcommittee, galvanized the anti-abortion movement in Virginia and nationwide.
Current Virginia law requires three physicians to agree that a third-trimester abortion is necessary because the mother’s life or health would be jeopardized otherwise. Tran’s Repeal Act would have only required the mother and the physician be in agreement.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, also a Democrat, ignited a firestorm Wednesday when he weighed in on the bill.
“If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen,” Northam said. “The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
Northam later said his comments were “really blown out of proportion.”
Adams’ letter to her constituents Thursday struck a more regretful tone.
“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.”
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