Virginia Bill Protecting Women and Unborn Children From Violence Advances

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 25, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Virginia Bill Protecting Women and Unborn Children From Violence Advances

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 25, 2004

Richmond, VA ( — A pro-life bill that would offer additional protection for pregnant women and their unborn children has received the final approval from the state legislature and now heads to pro-abortion Governor Mark Warner (D), who has not yet taken a position on the bill.

The bill defines an unborn child as a person under law in cases where the baby is killed or injured as a result of an attack on a pregnant woman. It allows prosecutors to charge criminals with an additional crime for killing or injuring the unborn baby.

On a 76-23 vote, the Virginia state House approved the measure, which is sponsored by pro-life Sen. Sen. Kenneth Stolle. The state Senate previously approved SB 319 on a 30-8 vote.

The legislation passed by veto-proof margins and, if Warner vetoes it, pro-life lawmakers are expected to mount a campaign to override the veto.

Stolle (R) said he was pleased with the vote after the state Senate tabled his legislation last year. He sponsored the unborn victims bill on behalf of Attorney General Jerry Kilgore.

The bill is named after Laci and Conner Peterson, whose bodies were found washed ashore in the San Francisco Bay. Laci’s husband Scott is currently on trial for their deaths.
Abortion advocates opposed the unborn victims bill saying it grants personhood to unborn children — something that could be used later as an argument against laws legalizing abortion.

"They want legislation that addresses the murder of a fetus and establishes the personhood of a fetus," said Bennet Greenberg, director of government relations for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia.

Some 29 states have similar laws and 16 protect women and unborn children throughout pregnancy.

ACTION: Contact Governor Mark Warner with your views about the bill by going to

Related web sites:
Information about the bill –
Virginia Legislature –