Va Senate Kills ‘Personhood’ Bill Without Debate

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A bill that would define life as starting at conception is dead for this year in Virginia.

With no debate, the Senate voted 24-14 Thursday to send the so-called “personhood” bill back to committee and carry it over to 2013.

Senate Republican Leader Tommy Norment of James City County made the motion to shelve the bill, saying more study is needed.

The vote came hours after the Senate Education and Health Committee endorsed the measure on an 8-7 party-line vote, with Democrats voting against it. The bill passed after an amendment clarifying that no provision in it would restrict the use of federally approved contraception.

At least three times, the committee chairman, Sen. Steve Martin, threatened to have police remove opponents of the bill after they spoke out during debate.

The committee earlier approved a bill requiring pre-abortion external ultrasound exams. It was amended to eliminate ultrasounds requiring an invasive ultrasound probe.

The “personhood” bill would give embryos the full legal protection of personhood and criminalize their destruction, outlawing almost all abortions and, critics say, some forms of contraception. It would take effect only if the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortions is overturned.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Tarie

    Prefertowrite:Here is the actual lanugage of the bill a7 1. The life of each human being begins at conception.a7 2. Unborn children have protectable interests in life, health, and well-being.a7 3. The natural parents of unborn children have protectable interests in the life, health, and well-being of their unborn child.a7 4. The laws of this Commonwealth shall be interpreted and construed to acknowledge on behalf of the unborn child at every stage of development all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of this Commonwealth, subject only to the Constitution of the United States and decisional interpretations thereof by the United States Supreme Court and specific provisions to the contrary in the statutes and constitution of this Commonwealth.a7 5. As used in this section, the term unborn children or unborn child shall include any unborn child or children or the offspring of human beings from the moment of conception until birth at every stage of biological development.a7 6. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as creating a cause of action against a woman for indirectly harming her unborn child by failing to properly care for herself or by failing to follow any particular program of prenatal care.a7 7. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as affecting lawful assisted conception.Sections 1. and 2. sound very much directed at abortion. Section 3. refers to the rights of natural parents. If that’s really the intent of the measure, why not restrict the legislation to section 3?

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