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Virginia Democratic lawmaker claims she didn't read bill to allow abortions up to birth  before she co-sponsored it


Now she's telling voters she regrets it

Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

Virginia Democratic state Del. Dawn Adams, who co-sponsored a bill that would allow abortions all the way up to birth, is now saying she's sorry for signing off on the controversial bill, claiming that she didn't read it.

What bill?

The bill, called the Repeal Act, which failed in the Virginia House, would have permitted third-trimester abortions right up until birth — including during labor. Third-trimester abortions would be permitted if a doctor believed that the child would cause the "impairment" of the mother's mental health.

Democratic Del. Kathy Tran introduced the bill last week. Tran admitted that the bill would even allow abortion if a woman was in labor and about to deliver her baby.

The bill was ultimately defeated in committee.

So what did Adams say?

On Wednesday, Adams, who is a nurse, apologized to constituents for putting her name on the bill and asserted that she only "vaguely" remembers signing 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," 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. I will work harder and be better for it."

She added, "I [signed] in solidarity with [Tran] ... as a symbolic gesture for a woman's right to choose."

Despite continuing to be pro-choice, Adams said that she regretted not vetting the bill better.

"I am sorry that I did not exercise due diligence before this explosion of attention," she wrote.

"While we might continue to disagree on the policy, I feel it's important to respond to my constituents and provide the facts amidst the politics," Adams added, "as I remain dedicated to the service of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the 68th district."

You can read her full apology letter here, as well as a description of the current Virginia state abortion law.

Didn't Virginia's governor talk about this recently?

On Wednesday, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) appeared to discuss a scenario in which an infant could be delivered — alive — and set aside while doctors discussed "options" with the child's mother, to include whether the child would be permitted to live.

During the interview, Northam said, "If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. 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."

A spokesperson for the governor, however, claimed that the governor's remarks had been taken out of context.

The spokesperson said, "No woman seeks a third-trimester abortion except in the case of tragic or difficult circumstances, such as a nonviable pregnancy or in the event of severe fetal abnormalities, and the governor's comments were limited to the actions physicians would take in the event that a woman in those circumstances went into labor."

On Wednesday, Northam — who is a doctor — tweeted, "I have devoted my life to caring for children and any insinuation otherwise is shameful and disgusting."

I have devoted my life to caring for children and any insinuation otherwise is shameful and disgusting.
— Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) January 31, 2019
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