The Virginia Senate Health and Education committee voted eight to seven, with all Republicans voting yes, on 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 bill 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 was approved after the addition of an amendment clarifying that the no provision in the personhood amendment would limit the use of federally sanctioned contraception.
The personhood bill will now go to the full Senate where Republicans and Democrats hold an equal number of seats.
Last week, the Virginia House of Delegates voted 66 to 32 in favor the bill. An amendment to state explicitly that the Personhood legislation did not outlaw contraception was voted down 64-34.Republican Governor Bob McDonnell has not indicated whether he will sign the bill.
WJLA 2/23/12; Washington Post 2/23/12; Feminist Daily Newswire 2/15/12