Virginia Legislature Advances Two Abortion Bills, Defeats Another

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 6, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Virginia Legislature Advances Two Abortion Bills, Defeats Another Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 6
, 2007

Richmond, VA ( — The Virginia state legislature advanced two bills designed to help women and limit the number of abortions but defeated another pro-life proposal. The House of Delegates backed bills allowing women to see an ultrasound of their baby and to receive information about the pain the baby will feel during an abortion.

Del. Kathy Byron, a Republican, is the sponsor of the ultrasound measure, House Bill 2808, which allows women to see one before they have an abortion.

Meanwhile, Del. Ben Cline is the sponsor of the other House-approved bill, which tells women considering an abortion after 20 weeks into pregnancy that the baby will likely feel intense pain during the abortion procedure.

“It’s medically responsible, it’s logically responsible and it’s also very important for women to have this information,” Byron said during the debate, according to the Lynchburg News and Advance.

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia opposed both measures saying they were designed to intimidate women and interfere with the so-called doctor-patient relationship.

But Byron said women considering an abortion aren’t forced to view the ultrasound but are given the opportunity to do so, which the abortion business may not normally provide. Women who see ultrasounds at pregnancy centers frequently opt against an abortion.

She also said it would protect women in cases when an abortion practitioner misdiagnoses the age of the baby before the abortion, and pointed to one botched abortion case that could have been prevented.

Cline discussed his bill with the newspaper in an interview, and the House passed it without any debate.

“It’s just making sure that the mother has all the information when she makes the decision,” Cline said. “It in no way restricts a woman’s ability to have an abortion.”

The Family Foundation, a Virginia-based pro-life group, said it supports both measures because they "ensure that women have the most information possible before making a decision regarding having an abortion."

"Both are proposals that should be supported by legislators who consider themselves pro-life and by legislators that are pro-choice, as they are in the best interest of all women," the group said.

The bills will get a final vote today before heading to the Senate for consideration.

ON the other hand, the state House defeated a measure 53-43 sponsored by Del. Robert Marshall that would declare that life begins at conception. The bill would have provided full protection to unborn children under the state’s laws.