Friday, February 08, 2019

Curious life-death inconsistency

A curious coincidence was produced by two bills introduced into state of Virginia politics on January 9, 2019, by Delegate Kathy K.L. Tran, a Democrat from House District 42. One is pro-life and one is pro-death – pro-life for a caterpillar and pro-death for a human. Well, it needs a little more explanation, but that fits the rough first viewing.

HB 2495 Fall cankerworm; spraying prohibited during certain months limits the “death months” of the fall cankerworm.[i] Cankerworms receive a reprieve of five months. Honestly, I don’t really understand what they are trying to accomplish here, and didn’t find an explanation.
Fall cankerworm; spraying prohibited during certain months. Prohibits localities from spraying pesticides intended to suppress an infestation of the fall cankerworm during the period between March 1 and August 1.
HB 2491 Abortion; eliminate certain requirements increases the “death months” of human babies by eliminating various requirements for and restrictions on abortion currently in place in the state of Virginia’s laws.
Abortion; eliminate certain requirements. Eliminates the requirement that an abortion in the second trimester of pregnancy and prior to the third trimester be performed in a hospital. The bill eliminates all the procedures and processes, including the performance of an ultrasound, required to effect a woman’s informed written consent to the performance of an abortion; however, the bill does not change the requirement that a woman’s informed written consent be first obtained. The bill eliminates the requirement that two other physicians certify that a third trimester abortion is necessary to prevent the woman’s death or impairment of her mental or physical health, as well as the need to find that any such impairment to the woman’s health would be substantial and irremediable. The bill also removes language classifying facilities that perform five or more first-trimester abortions per month as hospitals for the purpose of complying with regulations establishing minimum standards for hospitals.
Though the mumbo-jumbo of bills can often be intimidating to the casual reader, Tran’s own explanation is that it would allow a mother to get an abortion even to the end of her third trimester (in other words, up until the point of birth). In committee, the Chair Todd Gilbert asked Delegate Tran how late physicians would be allowed to perform abortions under the bill. Tran replied, “Through the third trimester. The third trimester goes all the way up to 40 weeks.”[ii]

While giving cankerworms a five-month reprieve from assault, the Virginia lawmaker offers no such special treatment for the human baby.

According to the Virginia General Assembly website, both bills are in committee as of February 5, 2019.

[i] The cankerworm is a caterpillar, the larva of a moth.
[ii] The exact length of pregnancy varies with individuals, but is usually about 38 weeks from conception.

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