- Politics and Social Issues
Virginia Legislators approve Anti-Abortion Bills
Valentines Day for Virginia Lawmakers devolved into a heated affair, with fireworks of the non-traditional variety, typically associated with this occasion. Two highly controversial bills advanced through the Virginia House of Delegates.
The first Bill passed which through the House of Delegates mandates women, prior to obtaining an abortion; receive an invasive “Trans-Vaginal Ultrasound” procedure. The second Bill which passed the House of Delegates states Life begins at conception, better known as the Personhood Bill.
Republican State Legislative Leader C. Todd Gilbert, a proponent of the invasive procedure, debated his point of view that abortion was nothing more than a “lifestyle convenience” for women. Democratic lawmakers’ objected to the mandate, offering an Amendment which would require consent. The Amendment was voted down among party lines.
The response from another Republican supporter of the invasive procedure towards this request for women’s consent was even more repulsive. According to Democratic Delegate David Englin, “the lawmaker had told him that consent was unnecessary since women had already made the decision to be vaginally penetrated when they got pregnant.”
The bill passed overwhelmingly with a 63-36 margin. A similar bill previously passed in the State Senate. The final version of the bill is expected to be signed into law from Governor Bob McDonnell prior to the end of the legislative session in March.
In the second course of business on the Virginia House floor this Valentines Day, Republican Representative Bob Marshall introduced the ‘Anti-Abortion Anti-Birth Control’ Personhood Bill. The bill defines personhood through the stipulation that Life begins at conception, essentially, giving a fertilized egg the rights of a person.
The Personhood Bill reads as follows; “unborn children at every stage of development enjoy all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of the commonwealth, subject only to the laws and constitutions of Virginia and the United States, precedents of the United States Supreme Court, and provisions to the contrary in the statutes of the commonwealth.”
The House voted down a proposed Amendment by Democratic Representative Vivian Watts to ensure contraceptives would be protected from the proposed legislation. The Amendment was overwhelmingly rejected through a party line vote.
It remains unseen what action the Senate will take, but supporters of the bill believe it has a good chance of passing. If prior events are any indications of future intentions, one would tend to agree with the consensus that prospects are likely for the bill to pass.
Governor McDonnell would only say he would review the measure if the Senate sent it to his desk. The Republican Governor of Virginia is widely held as a short list contender for the Republican ticket as their Vice Presidential Nominee.