Thousands Protest VA Anti-Abortion Bills

Between 1,000 and 1,500 women stood arm-in-arm yesterday at the Virginia state Capitol in Richmond to silently protest two anti-abortion bills scheduled for votes by the state’s General Assembly. One is a “personhood bill,” sponsored by Delegate Bob Marshall (R-Prince William), which states that life begins at conception and would give rights to a fertilized egg. The other bill would require that women seeking abortions undergo a transvaginal ultrasound, which requires a probe being inserted into the vagina.

Last week, the House of Delegates passed the “personhood bill,” which proposes to give “unborn children at every stage of development all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of the Commonwealth.” The bill will now go to the state Senate Education and Health Committee. Republican Governor Bob McDonnell has not indicated whether he will sign the bill.

The transvaginal ultrasound bill has passed the House of Delegates and has gone to the Senate Education and Health Committee. Governor McDonnell has pledge to sign the bill.

Delegate L. Kaye Kory (D-Fairfax) criticized the transvaginal ultrasound bill, saying on the House floor yesterday that it would require women to “submit to involuntary vaginal penetration…This [legislative] body is mounting an assault on the freedom and liberty of women in the commonwealth of Virginia.”

Richmond Times Dispatch 2/21/12; Roanoke Times 2/21/12; Associated Press 2/21/12; CNN 2/19/12

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