The Virginia Senate’s Courts of Justice Committee voted 9 to 6 to reject a feticide bill that would have given prosecutors the authority to file murder charges against anyone who injured a pregnant woman and killed the woman’s fetus. Abortion rights groups opposed the measure as a backdoor attack on abortion rights, because the language of the bill defined the victim of feticide as an unborn child “at any state of its development.” The bill passed in the Virginia House of Delegates 63 to 36, but the Senate committee’s action effectively blocks the legislation for the entire session.
Earlier this month, a separate piece of anti-choice legislation did pass in both the Virginia House and Senate. The 24-hour waiting period law enforces a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion and creates a $2,500 fine for doctors who break the law. Language in the bill also requires doctors to offer extensive information about alternatives to abortion and would require doctors to offer pictures of gestational development. No other medical procedure requires that doctors provide graphic images of the procedure or the results.