Virginia abortion bill’s co-sponsor postpones town hall event over 'safety concerns'

A town hall meeting scheduled for Saturday, featuring the Virginia state delegate who co-sponsored the state’s controversial late-term abortion bill, has been postponed over “security and safety concerns.”

Del. Kathy Tran, a Democrat, is a co-sponsor of Virginia’s Repeal Act, which seeks to repeal restrictions on third-trimester abortions, had been scheduled to meet with constituents on Saturday in Lorton, Va., along with state Sens. Scott Surovell and George Barker, also Democrats.

“Unfortunately, we are postponing our joint legislative town hall meeting scheduled for Saturday, February 2 due to security and safety concerns for our constituents who planned to attend as well as participants coming to youth sports activities at South County High School,” the lawmakers wrote in an online post.

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“We value talking to constituents about their concerns for our community and how we can help address them,” the statement continued. “We had looked forward to continuing this dialogue and sharing legislative updates this weekend. While we are very disappointed to have to make this decision, the safety of our neighbors and constituents is paramount.

“We will update our constituents once our town hall is rescheduled. We will continue to make ourselves available to hear our constituents’ priorities, including those with differing opinions.”

Tran sparked outrage from conservatives this week when she said that, under the bill, a pregnant woman who was dilating could still request an abortion.

She later said she “misspoke” when she made the comment during a legislative hearing.

“I wish that I was quicker on my feet and I wish that I was able to be more agile in that moment,” Tran, 41, a first-term delegate from Fairfax County, and a mother of four, told the Washington Post. “And I misspoke, and I really regret that.”

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After a video of Tran’s initial comment went viral on social media, she reportedly began receiving death threats and Twitter comments calling her “baby killer” and “a demonic creature,” according to the Post.

She later posted a video on her Facebook page, explaining her position on the legislation.

The firestorm over the Virginia bill escalated when Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, seemed to defend late-term abortions when asked Wednesday to comment on the statement Tran made at the legislative hearing.

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Then the controversy reached new heights when photos from Northam’s medical school yearbook surfaced on Friday.

Tran arrived in the U.S. with her family from Vietnam when she was 7 years old, according to her website. A graduate of Duke University and the University of Michigan, she has held positions with the U.S. Department of Labor and the National Immigration Forum.

She took office as a Virginia state delegate in January 2018 after being elected in November 2017.