It’s only a matter of time before the GOP gets their wish of making abortions illegal in the state of Virgina. Yesterday, the House passed two of the most stringent anti-abortion bills that have been seen in a long time, including one that says a person’s rights begin as soon as sperm and egg unite.
In a 66-32 vote, Bob Marshall’s Personhood at Conception bill was passed, followed by another bill requiring transvaginal ultrasounds before women are allowed to abort a baby. That item went through with a 63-36 vote.
In her opposition of the bill, Tarina Keene of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, said, “The General Assembly is dangerously close to making Virginia the first state in the country to grant personhood rights to fertilized eggs,” and she’s right. The bill will now go to the Senate which already passed a companion to Del. Kathy Byron’s ultrasound measure. While there is no legislation in the Senate that mirrors the personhood bill, Sen. Bill Stanley, won passage on Tuesday of a measure that would permit wrongful death civil lawsuits against those who kill a fetus.
Totally disregarding the variety of circumstances that lead women to seek abortions, Del. Todd Gilbert had no sympathy for any of it:
“We hear the same song over there. The very tragic human notes that are often touched upon involve extreme examples. But in the vast majority of these cases, these are matters of lifestyle convenience.”
Although he later apologized for his remarks, but it’s clear from the passage of these measures that most in his party agree with him.
Del. Eileen Filler-Corn, although initially defeated, said she’s determined to fight these restrictive bills.
“I cannot sit quietly today and do nothing while this body decides what rights will be stripped away from my daughter and others in regard to their own health,” she said. “I do not want to see a day when the only option for women and men to obtain the contraception of their choice is to leave our state and go to (Washington,) D.C. or to Maryland.”
The state appears to be extremely close to making that a reality; hopefully other states won’t follow suit.
What do you think about these bills? Are you surprised they were passed?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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