Abortion or miscarriage; intent to destroy unborn child, penalty. (HB1126)

Introduced By

Del. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk) with support from co-patron Del. Tim Hugo (R-Centreville)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Producing abortion or miscarriage, etc.; penalty. Provides that any person, including the pregnant female, who administers to or causes to be taken by a pregnant female any drug or other thing or uses means with intent to destroy her unborn child or to produce abortion or miscarriage and thereby destroys such child or produces such abortion or miscarriage is guilty of a Class 4 felony. The bill excepts medically approved contraceptives as a means of producing abortion or miscarriage. Current law does not with specificity include the pregnant female as a possible perpetrator. Read the Bill »


02/28/2008: Failed to Pass in Committee


01/09/2008Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/08 088251584
01/09/2008Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/10/2008Impact statement from VCSC (HB1126)
01/16/2008Assigned Courts sub: Criminal
02/01/2008Reported from Courts of Justice with amendment (18-Y 4-N) (see vote tally)
02/01/2008Referred to Committee on Appropriations
02/05/2008Assigned App. sub: Public Safety (Sherwood)
02/08/2008Reported from Appropriations (23-Y 1-N)
02/08/2008Reported from Appropriations (23-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/09/2008Read first time
02/11/2008Read second time
02/11/2008Committee amendment agreed to
02/11/2008Amendment by Delegate Jones, S.C. agreed to
02/11/2008Engrossed by House as amended HB1126E
02/11/2008Printed as engrossed 088251584-E
02/12/2008Impact statement from VCSC (HB1126E)
02/12/2008Read third time and passed House (68-Y 30-N)
02/12/2008VOTE: --- PASSAGE (68-Y 30-N) (see vote tally)
02/12/2008Reconsideration of passage agreed to by House
02/12/2008Passed House (68-Y 31-N)
02/12/2008VOTE: --- PASSAGE #2 (68-Y 31-N) (see vote tally)
02/12/2008Communicated to Senate
02/13/2008Constitutional reading dispensed
02/13/2008Referred to Committee on Education and Health
02/28/2008Passed by indefinitely in Education and Health (9-Y 5-N)


Marsha Maines writes:

A 'felony'?? no. I am Pro-Life, but if a pregnant woman chooses to terminate her unborn childs life, that decision is between her and her God. It matters not 'how' she does it. The government does not belong in our uterus'. I read the case where the boyfriend drugged his girlfriend and she lost her baby. While appearing on the surface as 'wrong', doesn't a MAN have reproductive rights too? All the feminists want 'equal rights', well, if a man does NOT want a child, he should have equal rights to abort, or take primary CUSTODY of the child..if HE chooses NOT to be a parent, he ought not be FORCED into child support obligations.

Chuck K writes:

HB1126 is not meant to limit the way a woman "chooses" to terminate her unborn child. It prevents those with malicious intent from harming a potential human life. Example: A woman in her third trimester (with abortion not an option) intentionally falls down her home steps or has her to intentionally cause a miscarriage. Either party can then be charged with a Class 4 Felony.

The crime is equivocal to intentional manslaughter. That child is recognized as a human life, survivable outside the womb, at that point and those involved in terminating that life should be punished accordingly.

Please re-read the legislation and re-inform yourself of it's intent. Best wishes.

Chuck K writes:

steps or has her boyfriend punch her in the stomach*

Marsha Maines writes:

Sorry - I re-read the full text on this bill. I STILL don't see 'why' a person, pregnant or otherwise, should be charged with a FELONY for causing a miscarriage or termination of the unborn.. Had I lost my full term baby when a truck driver decided to take a left hand turn from the oncoming lane in the rain when I was going over 50 mph, "he" would have been declared guilty not only as a reckless driver, but become a 'felon'..I'm sure he still bears the emotional scars of his actions after witnessing he'd hit a pregnant lady due to his bad judgement...How many days have you spent in a 'local' or regional JAIL...make sure you understand what kind of punishment you are seeking for this type of action against someone...I do not believe making others into FELONS is a solution..The unborn DO need protection, but upon conviction, a more appropriate punishment could probably be a one year 'probation' stint in a clinic that does sonograms on the unborn and mandatory reproductive health education.

Chuck K writes:

WHAAAAAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? did you even read the bill?

It's about taking medication to cause or performing an intentional action to intentionallllllly cause the death of an unborn child. the baby would already be dead...what do sonograms and reproductive health education have to do with it? they should be in jail, bc they intentionally took a life! jesus...can you read English.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Chuck, it's perfectly reasonable for you to disagree with others, but please do so politely.

Abortion is a topic that people feel very strongly on, so it's important to try to see others' perspectives if you want to attempt to persuade them to agree with you. For instance, you write that "they intentionally took a life." But those who support abortion believe that a fetus -- up to a point -- is not alive, and thus no life has been taken. You will not change any minds with such a declaration any more than somebody would change your mind by flatly declaring that a fetus does not possess life.

DrMink writes:

Why not just ban RU-486? That is what this law is intended to do,right? This isn't incrementalism, it is "shotgun blasting" to try and find something, ANYTHING, to ban all abortions. Thank goodness they didn't suggest birth control pills are an "agent". Aren't we trying to encourage women to avoid pregnancy so they don't need abortions.

And please, it is a fetus, not a baby.

Star Womanspirit writes:

So now taxpayer dollars are going to be spent investigating miscarriages?

This is ridiculous and invades people's privacy....when someone is "dealing" with the aftereffects of a miscarriage they don't need the state interfering with their life.

Anonymous Is A Woman writes:

DrMink, RU-486 would still be legal. That's the irony. It states plainly in the bill that it excepts "medically approved contraceptives as means of producing abortion or miscarriage."

It doesn't outlaw abortion. It just makes a woman liable to prosecution for what could be an accidental miscarriage.

There are two big problems with this bill.

The first is that even if the woman eventually is found innocent, she would still have to go through the trauma of a trial and still have to pay exorbitant sums to a lawyer to defend her. And all this at a time when she could be grieving the death of her child.

The second problem is that an overzealous prosecutor with a political agenda could start subpoenaing emergency room records looking for cases. Every woman's privacy is threatened by this.

You may say that if she's done nothing wrong, what is the problem? But the problem is that not many people want their medical records subject to search in a political fishing expedition. In fact, not many people want something as intimate as their medical records made public at all.

If you think this is far fetched, think again. In 2005, the state attorney general of Kansas, Phill Kline, subpoenaed the records of over 90 young women who had had abortions in two clinics. He claimed that he was investigating possible cases of statutory rape. But many of the records he subpoenaed were for women over the age of consent. Many believed that it was a political fishing expedition to harrass the clinics and the women who had sought abortions, which are still legal in this country.

I'm not going to fight the abortion wars. That is a different issue.

The biggest thing wrong with bills like this is their potential for invading people's privacy and the immeasurable harm they can do to a woman who is already facing the tragedy of a miscarriage.

Beth L. writes:

This bill could be used against a doctor or female patient who treats or is treated for an ectopic pregnancy with methotrexate.
It is way to vague. This is what happens when a legislator tries to practice medicine.

christine w writes:

"Chuck, it's perfectly reasonable for you to disagree with others, but please do so politely."

Chuck comes across as impassioned to me and not "unpolite".

" For instance, you write that "they intentionally took a life." But those who support abortion believe that a fetus -- up to a point -- is not alive, and thus no life has been taken."

True. There are those who embrace Moral Relativism and those who do not. My guess is that Chuck's comment: "they intentionally took a life"
is reflective of the fact that he does NOT embrace Moral Relativism or relativistic thinking when it comes to key moral issues/concerns such as Abortion.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Chuck comes across as impassioned to me and not "unpolite".

Chuck's declaration "jesus...can you read English" is far closer to rudeness than passion. The topic of abortion often proves to be a tinderbox. It's necessary to guide the discussion of it closely to keep it positive.