Virginia House Passes Bill to Outlaw Abortion

35 comments
February 16, 2012 ‐ By

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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  • FAMURattler85

    Simple solution. If you don’t agree with abortion, don’t do it and stay out of the business of those who do. There, I solved it.

  • F3ral Anarchy

    funny when you watch the debates,  nobody ever speaks on victims of domestic violence or rape when it comes to abortion.  here is the govt yet again stepping in using a church based moral system to create legislation.  The church has its hands all within the US govt and its sick. 

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  • I’mjustsayin

    I figured this was going to happen sooner or later.  We can’t have it both ways. You can’t begin to charge people for murder of an unborn fetus in the act of a crime and expect the laws to remain the same.  It’s a double edge sword.  Does the fetus whose parent choose to keep them have more right than the fetus whose parent is chooses to abort?

  • I’mjustsayin

    I figured this was going to happen sooner or later.  We can’t have it both ways. You can’t begin to charge people for murder of an unborn fetus in the act of a crime and expect the laws to remain the same.  It’s a double edge sword.  Does the fetus whose parent choose to keep them have more right than the fetus whose parent is chooses to abort?

  • The Jaded Butterfly

    As a personal choice I am pro-life, however I firmly believe in a woman’s right to choose. No legislative body should be able to declare what a woman can or can not do with her body! Plus it eats me up that people who are so anti-abortion are also the ones who will cut off funding to children in need without blinking. How can you be pro-life and not care about the quality of a child’s life?

  • http://twitter.com/_BryBelle BryHindrixx

    Personally, I’m pro-choice. But abortion does need to be legal.! Morally and humanely speaking.. Its not right to kill another person.. But why should a fertilized egg have any rights.? It cant speak for its’ self and can’t even think.! SO therefore it’s the mothers decision. Politically and legally speaking, we have over-crowded orphanages, kids walking the street, being abused, and some not even being taken care of. We as a country don’t have the finances, the resources, and the space for more people.! Let alone “unwanted ” people (I’m using the term unwanted loosely not trying to be offensive.!!)  Maybe if there wasn’t any over-religious people then we would have more use of birth control and less use of future abortions.! These law-makers,government officials, and Capital Hill need to get their ish together.! 

    • Idiot

      NO the morons making unwanted children need to get their stuff together.  Why do we always blame everyone else except the person responsible?  I’m no pro-lifer, but why should people who don’t want abortion have to show how pro life they are by taking care of some other morons unwanted children?  When you have sex you should be responsible for what happens, not someone else. People are so selfish and don’t handle their business.  Human life has no value anymore.

      • Anon

        Wow, I guess all those moronic victims of domestic violence and birth control sabotage (strong correlation: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/15/health/research/15pregnant.html) really need to get their act together and start handling their business. 

        The bottom line is this: if you want to see a drop in the abortion rate, eliminate domestic and sexual violence against women, and give women safe, free, and unrestricted access to contraception.  Moralizing about other peoples’ sex lives is a waste of time and ignores a huge part of the problem.

      • http://twitter.com/_BryBelle BryHindrixx

        Look at what you said.. MORONS.! The people that ware having unwanted children are the ones that are responsible TRUE.! But you can’t blame the people that do want to help the kids that are unwanted and born. 

  • Rah Truth

    If people weren’t so careless and irresponsible, the government wouldn’t feel a need to regulate things like this in the first place. You have the right to choose who you sleep with, not whether or not to let the baby live afterward. If you don’t want a baby, you know what to do. (

    • Anon

      Wait, I have the right to choose who I have intercourse with?  Including that dude who raped me?  Man, I wish I had known that earlier.  How careless and irresponsible of me.

      • IAMWOMAN

         I was a crisis pregnancy counselor for awhile and have talked with several young women so I have background in this.  The FACT is that less than 5% of unplanned pregnancy is a result of rape or incest.  We were there for each woman that CHOSE kept her child and, after birth, made sure they were set up with clothing, medical resources, diapers, everything.  We were also next door to Planned Parenthood.  Does PP offer post-abortion (it is, after all, considered a surgery) counseling? Um, no.  Still, we treated the women with respect and gave her info so she could make an INFORMED decision. 

        • Anon

           Good for you.  I was a sexual assault crisis counselor and have talked with dozens of young women, so I have background in this, too.  And your “fact” is backwards.  5% of rapes result in pregnancies. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8765248)  And since only an estimated 1 in 10 rapes is reported, the stats correlating “unwanted pregnancies” to rape is way lower than reality.  Considering that roughly 1 in 4 American women will be raped in their lifetimes, and 5% of those will get pregnant, we’re talking about roughly 2 million women currently living in the US who, at some point in their lives, will become pregnant as a result of sexual assault.  I don’t think that’s an insignificant number.  Please don’t trivialize a serious issue. 

          • Rah Truth

             So, you just change the entire topic to assault b/c of your own experience? I’m sure you can find an article that’s actually covering assault and you can take your comments there. In this article, the topic is a bill that outlaws abortions, with the understanding that most women who have this done were NOT assaulted. Stay on topic or move along.

            • Anon

               I haven’t changed anything.  Neither the “personhood” bill nor the ultrasound bill that passed the Virginia House excepts sexual assault victims, and therefore my point is 100% relevant.  Both you and the Virginia House Republicans are lumping all pregnant women together under one big ugly umbrella of moral judgment.

              But even if we set sexual assault aside, government intrusion into ANY person’s medical decisions is wrong. 

              Let’s say I choose to take a pleasure drive to the park on Sunday.  I pick a car with every available modern safety feature.  I use my seatbelt, and I drive carefully, without breaking any laws.  But despite all my precautions, I’m in a terrible accident, my airbags fail, and I’m critically injured.  Are you going to say that because I made the choice to operate a motor vehicle, that I should have to live with my injuries? Don’t I have a right to seek medical attention in order to deal with my injuries?  Is the government going to override the decision my doctor and I made together that we should try and insert screws to set my broken femur, instead of casting it?  No, that’d be ridiculous.  How is a medical decision about my uterus any different?

              Actually, let’s make it a closer call.  I smoked all my life, and now I have lung cancer – an unwanted growth of cells in my body, leeching on my healthy cells, that cannot live outside my body (sound familiar?).  By your logic, chemo and radiation should not legally be available to me because I chose to smoke.

              You can keep responding all day, but you will never EVER convince me that substituting my judgment for someone else’s medical decision is the right thing to do.

              • Rah Truth

                I completely respect your right to disagree. It’s just opinions. With that said, again, this is not about women who were assaulted or in some way forced to have sex and became pregnant. Most women who get abortions were fully aware of where babies come from, and fully aware that no form of birth control is 100% effective. With that knowledge, that made the informed decision to have sex anyway. If they become pregnant, who will fight for the baby? He/she should lose their chance at life b/c the mom feels it was a mistake? Be more responsible. Bottom line. As adults, we have to accept responsibility for all of our actions. My mother wanted to abort me, and was talked out of it. My friend wanted to abort my godson, and I was able to convince her not to. Now, he’s an honor student and she’s very glad she had him. We do not have the RIGHT to determine who lives and who dies. If you choose to have sex and become pregnant, be a big girl and prepare for motherhood.

      • Rah Truth

        Anon, do I really need to say that i’m NOT talking about assault victims? Duh! That’s a given. And, there is a clause that makes an exception for those women. Moving on… the choice is in who a woman sleeps with, not whether or not to kill a baby. We have no right to judge who lives and who doesn’t. Again, if a woman doesn’t want children, she needs to be responsible.

        • Anon

           Actually, you haven’t made it at all clear that you’re not talking about sexual assault victims.  Nor do the bills that the Virginia legislature is passing.  Virginia HB462H1, for example, requires ALL pregnant women to receive and review an ultrasound before undergoing D&C.

          And who are you to judge what’s “responsible?”  Seems to me that abortion is often the most responsible decision.

  • Pivyque

    I am very surprised. That is ridiculous. Abortions NEED to be legal in every state. Some people DO NOT need children.

    • IAMWOMAN

       My parents never won “Parent of the Year” but I turned out pretty well-adjusted.  There is no such thing, IMO, as an unwanted child….unplanned, yes.  Where is the child’s choice to live before they’re born? “Any society, any nation, is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members; the last, the least, the littlest.” 

      • Kimmie

         Its absolutely laughable to say “there is no such thing as an unwanted child.” Really?  As sad as it may be to acknowledge, some people honestly do not want children – for any reason under any circumstance –  but may be just too selfish and lazy to take precautionary measures to prevent pregnancy.  Im not saying that I believe in or support free range, no questions asked, unregulated abortion legislation, but what any woman decides to do with her body is not a choice for the government or these legislative bodies – composed primarily of men – to decide. For those who truly have no desire to birth, raise or care for children, outlawing abortion and ‘forcing” many to have these babies will NOT place the unborn child in the best of circumstances.  And lets be real, “a childs choice to live before they’re born” means absolutely nothing considering you cant choose your parents or the family your born into.  For many of these children,life as an unwanted and unplanned child could be a living hell, and no one benefits from that!   Forcing birth onto a woman or couple will NOT all of a sudden change their outlook and make them want to be wonderful parents.

        • http://twitter.com/Kingdom_Fleur Fleurette McFleury

          However if you do not want a child there are other measures you can take to instead of aborting a child.  You can have your tubes tied or removed or your partner can get sterilised! SIMPLE! 

          • Anon

             Simple?  Really?  I take it you’ve never had invasive abdominal surgery before.  Or had to pay for it out of pocket because you’re uninsured or your insurance won’t cover it because it’s considered “elective” surgery.  And just because I don’t want a child *right now* doesn’t mean I never want a child.  Why should permanent sterilization (which is not 100% effective against pregnancy) be my only option?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1415696195 Calandrial PhoenixRising Afriy

             I hit like by mistake.  What if the woman is raped…or a child raped? There wasn’t an opportunity to prevent pregnancy? Why should they have to carry a baby conceived as a result of rape? They shouldn’t.

          • gofig

             Do you really think this government Repul, hard right is going to just let any baby live.Black’s,Latino, poor whites etc,. Once born a genocide well be done. unknowing. Such as a vaccine for some thing that only affects a certain race.. All sudden the death rates in those well rise,but not a word well be said in the news.Think I’m wrong. Ask those in North Carolinea’s law suit or the Tusckagee story. You hard core abortion nuts are the modern Hitler soldier’s of today.Marching behind and asking not one real thing from your own brain. sad.

          • Pivyque

            It’s not simple. They will not do those procedures unless you are a certain age and have a certain amount of children. It is expensive as well if insurance does not cover it.

        • IAMWOMAN

           Ever heard of adoption? Many couples are desperate to have children, so yes, I stand behind the statement that there is no such thing as an unwanted child.  I’ve never tried to adopt because as a single woman, most agencies wouldn’t allow me to.  Understandably, I don’t yet have the resources to properly care for a PRECIOUS child.  So how do you address the results of a woman’s CHOICE to spread her legs?  Every choice we make has a consequence, good or bad.  It’s a shame we hack up a child so we don’t have to deal with the results of our selfish lifestyles.  Just sayin’. 

          • FAMURattler85

            I mean no disrespect but if every child were “wanted”, all of them would be living with their adoptive families instead of in the system or on the streets. The chance of the right family choosing to adopt them is significantly reduced as the child ages, if they have developmental disabilities and especially if they are black. Also, think of the single women like yourself who are rejected because of their marital status or income. There are A LOT of them out there. MOST couples are “desperate” for infants which is why they are the first to go. The sad reality is that not many people want the older children and many of them end up aging out of the system. Please don’t trivialize the option for adoption. It is not as simple as you may want to believe. Besides, if you don’t agree with abortion, don’t do it. It’s simple. It isn’t right (no matter the reasoning) for the government to decide what all women can or can’t do with their bodies.

        • Rah Truth

          Those who truly have no desire to birth, raise, and care for children should be more responsible. No one has the right to take a child’s life because they THINK the child may not have a positive future. That’s not for anyone to judge, not even the mom.

      • Pivyque

        That’s cute. I’m not going to carry a child that I don’t want around for 9 months, birth it and give it away. That makes no sense. An abortion is a much better decision. It is also better than bringing a child into the world and treating it like crap because you don’t want it. ALSO, there is a such thing as an unwanted child.

        • IAMWOMAN

           I, I, I…me, me, me!  It’s always about me and my demands!  Who cares about what happens to anyone else, as long as my selfish a55 gets what I want.  Now that’s cute, just throw a little tantrum. Well, go right ahead and do what suits you, but don’t expect me to pay your abortion bill through my tax dollars.  You want it your way, YOU pay for it.   And I’ll just agree to disagree on the whole unwanted child thing.