Reproductive Rights Updates: Virginia & West Virginia

Today the VA House is set to vote on "personhood" legislation. The House also voted not to provide an amendment to clarify that such legislation would not affect "lawful contraception". Of course they did!
The House advanced the legislation (HB 1) on a voice vote Monday, setting up a vote today on the bill's passage. Today is the final day for each house of the General Assembly to act on its own legislation and social issues have been major flash points in the first half of the legislative session.


"The claim that using birth control will get you in trouble with this statute is simply false," Marshall [Bob, R-Prince William County] said during the House floor debate on the bill. "The purpose of this is to provide a rule of construction for courts. The main legal effect of this is to allow recovery for wrongful death, although that's not the main purpose of the measure."

Marshall's bill expressly states that it "shall be interpreted as affecting lawful assisted conception."

But the House voted not to take up an amendment proposed by Del. Vivian Watts, D-Fairfax County, to clarify that the bill would not apply to "lawful contraception." Watts raised concerns that the law could be interpreted as banning contraceptive methods that prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg. Intrauterine devices, or IUDs, and birth-control pills can work in that manner.
And what did Del. Marshall have to say about that?
Marshall said of the Democrats' objections: "They're imaginative but irrelevant."

"None of these stories that these ladies bring up about birth control being made illegal has ever happened."
Oh those ladies! So imaginative and yet irrelevant in their objections--oh, I'm sorry, stories--regarding serious issues about access to medication and care. But you, Del. Marshall, you know. You're logical and factual and a cis man. So we should definitely listen to you!

Everything you wanted to know about how seriously some legislators take their women co-workers & peers, summed up right there.

If you recall, Virginia also recently passed mandatory ultrasound legislation in the House (and similar legislation is expected to pass the Senate). If you did not know, the House voted "no thanks" on an amendment proposed by Del. David Englin (D-Alexandria):
...[T]hat would have required a woman's written consent for an invasive ultrasound, which could be necessary to determine a fetus' gestation age for an early-term pregnancy. Englin noted that Byron's bill makes no distinction between surgical abortions and nonsurgical abortions that involve the use of medication to terminate a pregnancy.

"She's in there asking for that particular[nonsurgical] procedure because she doesn't want an invasive procedure on her body," Englin said. "But without this amendment, we're going to say, 'Sorry, in order to exercise your constitutional right, we have to let a doctor put a probe inside you.'"
Of course they said no to that! Though no one called out Del. Englin for being "imaginative" with his "stories" on this. Funny, that.

The VA legislature was on full-tilt jobs ABORTION FOCUS (priorities!) yesterday, as the Senate voted to advance legislation that would include fetuses in wrongful death lawsuits and also a bill that "would create a misdemeanor penalty for forcing a pregnant female" to have an abortion if she did not want to have an abortion.


In West Virginia, they've decided to try and ban abortion after 20 weeks gestation based on "legislative findings" that fetuses can feel pain at that time. As usual, ignoring anything & everything else that would go into a decision regarding terminating a pregnancy after 20 weeks.
A committee in the House of Delegates is the first stop for the proposed bill that would ban abortions in West Virginia 20 weeks after fertilization.

The bill would establish legislative findings that fetuses or unborn children feel pain at that time.
Guess what it's called? If you said: "The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act", give yourself a meeeeellion dollars.

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