Last Year VA Dems Stunned Nation with Abortion 'Til Birth, Now Their Agenda Is Flooding Through
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RICHMOND - Democrats have control of Virginia's legislature and governor's mansion for the first time in decades and they're wasting no time turning the commonwealth's laws blue.
Longtime political observers, like former Congressman Dave Brat, can't believe the speed at which policies are changing.
"I've been in academia for 30 years or so and it's been trickle, trickle, but boy lately it's just been coming at us full speed," Brat tells CBN News.
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One of the first orders of business for the new majority was ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment. The federal deadline to do so passed decades ago, but now Virginia's attorney general and two other states are suing to have it added to the US Constitution.
That was followed by gun restrictions many thought impossible in this traditionally gun-friendly state. Then came new protections for LGBTQ people.
It's astounding considering where the state was just one year ago. Virginia and the nation was shocked after this exchange that revealed a Democratic push to allow abortion up until the moment of birth.
READ: Virginia Democrats Dismantle Abortion Restrictions as Bills Advance in State Legislature
"Where it's obvious a woman is about to give birth, she has physical signs that she is about to give birth," asked Republican Delegate Todd Gilbert of his colleague Democratic Delegate Kathy Tran in a committee meeting. "Would that still be a point that she could request an abortion if she was so certified? She's dilating."
"My bill would allow that, yes," Tran replied.
That measure failed, but this is a new year. Now Democrats are eagerly rolling back laws intended to reduce abortions, such as the 24 hour waiting period, a required ultrasound before an abortion so a woman can see her child, and information about alternatives.
"We are discussing repealing provisions that have been added on over the past 20 years that shame women, that impair their ability to make their own decisions," said Democratic state Senator Jennifer Boysko during emotional debate on the Senate floor this week.
Republicans argue taking away these tools puts women back in the dark.
"Instead of informing and educating women. We're telling them, for 24 hours you don't need to know the information in that ultrasound, make a decision without having all of the facts. I thought we were about empowering women," argued Republican Senator Amanda Chase.
Soon nurse practitioners and physicians assistants will be allowed to perform abortions instead of just doctors.
While many Virginians are surprised at the speedy changes, it's exactly what Democrats promised on the campaign trail leading to their historic victory.
"If we have a majority, the work of a lifetime is the work of two afternoons," Democratic Delegate Alfonso Lopez explained to voters over the summer.
Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat who is a pediatric neurologist by trade, is expected to sign the new abortion policies into law, along with the other laws passed by a legislative majority focused on bringing its vision the Old Dominion.
Last year Northam was accused of promoting infanticide for saying it's okay to allow sick babies to die after they've been born.
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