Three state Senate Republicans filed a bill to ban abortion in Virginia
Newman also filed a separate bill that would ban abortion in Virginia at 15 weeks.
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Three Republican Virginia state Senators, Steve Newman, Travis Hackworth, and Mark Obenshain, have filed a bill to outlaw abortion in Virginia.
Democratic state Senators held a press conference Friday to talk about their legislation that is aimed at curbing gun violence in Virginia.
Three Senate Republicans filed a bill to ban abortion in Virginia
Three Republican Virginia state Senators, Steve Newman, Travis Hackworth, and Mark Obenshain, have filed a bill to outlaw abortion in Virginia. The legislation would allow exceptions for the mother’s life being in jeopardy and in the case of rape or incest as long as it is prior to 20 weeks in the gestational period.
Newman also filed a separate bill that would ban abortion in Virginia at 15 weeks. This bill also includes an exception for the mother’s health and for rape and incest. Del. Kathy Byron (R) is sponsoring the companion bill in the House of Delegates.
Both of these bills would make it a Class 4 felony for the medical professionals that perform the abortion.
Governor Glenn Youngkin has expressed support for a 15-week ban on abortion in Virginia. He included a $50,000 budget amendment in his proposal to enact that 15-week ban.
Pro-choice advocates responded to the bills on Friday with a statement. “Public opinion — and Tuesday’s special election results in Virginia’s seventh senate district — is clear: Virginians support protecting reproductive rights, including abortion access. Individuals should be trusted to make their own private health care decisions without the interference of politicians,” said Jamie Lockhart, the executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia. “Don’t be fooled by anti-abortion legislators’ attempts to make their bills seem reasonable. There’s nothing reasonable about banning abortion and taking away the power of Virginians to make their own health care decisions in consultation with their medical providers. If you need any sign of their true intent, look to the fact that Senator Newman is both the patron of the 15-week abortion ban and a co-patron of a total abortion ban.”
It is unlikely that any legislation to restrict abortion in Virginia will survive the Democratic-controlled state Senate. Republican Speaker of the House Todd Gilbert said as much earlier this week in a call with the press.
“I would be very surprised if anything of substance comes out of this General Assembly on abortion,” Gilbert said during the call.
Democratic Del. Charniele Herring filed a resolution for a constitutional amendment that states “every individual has the fundamental right to reproductive freedom and that the right to make and effectuate one's own decisions about all matters related to one's pregnancy cannot be denied, burdened, or otherwise infringed upon by the Commonwealth, unless justified by a compelling state interest and achieved by the least restrictive means.”
The amendment would protect women and medical professionals who receive or perform an abortion from prosecution. Herring said during a press conference Wednesday that this amendment would not cause any changes to the current laws that are in place.
A constitutional amendment must be approved by both chambers two years in a row. This is the first year that this amendment has been filed.
The legislative session will continue Monday morning.