January 31, 2012
|Posted: Post subject: Personhood Amendments
|The GOP-controlled Virginia House of Delegates Monday advanced a "fetal personhood" bill that would give legal rights to a human fertilized egg and a measure that would require women seeking abortions to first undergo trans-vaginal ultrasound tests. Delegates rejected an amendment that would have ensured contraception remains legal once the personhood bill goes into effect.
The personhood bill, sponsored by Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William), defines the word "personhood" in the Code of Virginia as beginning at the moment of fertilization. Voters in Mississippi, one of the most socially conservative states in the nation, rejected a similar measure in October because it complicated the legality of stem cell research, in vitro fertilization, abortion in cases of, incest or life endangerment, and certain kinds of birth control.
Marshall said he's been working on passing a bill like this in Virginia for the past 20 years and insisted that the bill would not "directly" affect contraception or abortion -- it just provides a legal framework for mothers to sue if anything happens to her unborn baby.
Ã¢Â€ÂœThe legal effect here is [if] a pregnant woman is driving in an intersection and someone runs into her, she can sue for loss of a child,Ã¢Â€Â he said. Ã¢Â€ÂœUnder the current code, a mother cannot do that. [The bill] has no direct legal effect on abortion or birth control.Ã¢Â€Â
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