Virginia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act; created, penalty. (HB2321)

Introduced By

Del. Dave LaRock (R-Loudoun) with support from 19 copatrons, whose average partisan position is:

Those copatrons are Del. Rich Anderson (R-Woodbridge), Del. Mark Berg (R-Winchester), Del. Kathy Byron (R-Lynchburg), Del. Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg), Del. Peter Farrell (R-Henrico), Del. Buddy Fowler (R-Ashland), Del. Todd Gilbert (R-Woodstock), Del. Terry Kilgore (R-Gate City), Del. Steve Landes (R-Weyers Cave), Del. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Woodbridge), Del. Bob Marshall (R-Manassas), Del. Will Morefield (R-North Tazewell), Del. Chris Peace (R-Mechanicsville), Del. Brenda Pogge (R-Williamsburg), Del. Charles Poindexter (R-Glade Hill), Del. Margaret Ransone (R-Kinsale), Del. Tony Wilt (R-Harrisonburg), Del. Tommy Wright (R-Victoria), Sen. Dick Black (R-Leesburg)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Virginia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act; penalty. Creates the Virginia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The act prohibits an abortion after 20 weeks gestation unless, in reasonable medical judgment, the mother has a condition that so complicates her medical condition as to necessitate the abortion to avert her death or to avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function. The prohibition is predicated on legislative findings that a fetus is capable of feeling pain at 20 weeks. When an abortion is not prohibited post-20 weeks' gestation, the physician is required to terminate the pregnancy in a manner that would provide the unborn child the best opportunity to survive. The bill punishes an abortion in violation of the act as a Class 6 felony. The bill also provides for civil remedies against a physician who performs an abortion in violation of the act. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Failed

History

DateAction
01/22/2015Presented and ordered printed 15103592D
01/22/2015Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/23/2015Impact statement from VCSC (HB2321)
01/26/2015Assigned Courts sub: Constitutional Law
01/30/2015Impact statement from VDH (HB2321)
02/05/2015Assigned Courts sub: Constitutional Law
02/10/2015Left in Courts of Justice

Comments

ACLU-VA Women's Rights and Reproductive Freedom, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

The ACLU of Virginia strongly opposes this bill because it poses a serious threat to women’s health, ignoring women’s health needs and individual circumstances, and seeking to ban abortions at twenty weeks gestation, with only the most narrow of exceptions. This bill is blatantly unconstitutional, prohibiting abortions when the Supreme Court has held that states may not do so and failing to protect women’s health. The bill is meant as a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, could lead to an expensive and prolonged legal battle for Virginia. Additionally, this bill would impose severe criminal and civil penalties on physicians for providing women with abortions necessary to preserve their health. A woman’s doctor must be able to provide the care she needs for her health, and criminal and civil penalties prevent the doctor from providing that care. Every pregnant woman’s circumstances are different and many things can go wrong in a pregnancy. A woman seeking an abortion in that circumstance may be facing an extremely complicated pregnancy and must have every medical option — including ending the pregnancy — available to her to consider in consultation with their doctor. The very narrow, limited exceptions in this bill would not permit abortions even in situations where one might be medically necessary. We may not all feel the same way about abortion, but we can agree that these are personal, private decisions between a woman and her doctor. Even if we disagree about abortion, it is better that each person can make her own decision. Politicians should not interfere in a woman’s personal, private medical decisions.

ACLU-VA Legislative Agenda, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

The ACLU of Virginia strongly opposes this bill because it poses a serious threat to women’s health, ignoring women’s health needs and individual circumstances, and seeking to ban abortions at twenty weeks gestation, with only the most narrow of exceptions. This bill is blatantly unconstitutional, prohibiting abortions when the Supreme Court has held that states may not do so and failing to protect women’s health. The bill is meant as a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, could lead to an expensive and prolonged legal battle for Virginia. Additionally, this bill would impose severe criminal and civil penalties on physicians for providing women with abortions necessary to preserve their health. A woman’s doctor must be able to provide the care she needs for her health, and criminal and civil penalties prevent the doctor from providing that care. Every pregnant woman’s circumstances are different and many things can go wrong in a pregnancy. A woman seeking an abortion in that circumstance may be facing an extremely complicated pregnancy and must have every medical option — including ending the pregnancy — available to her to consider in consultation with their doctor. The very narrow, limited exceptions in this bill would not permit abortions even in situations where one might be medically necessary. We may not all feel the same way about abortion, but we can agree that these are personal, private decisions between a woman and her doctor. Even if we disagree about abortion, it is better that each person can make her own decision. Politicians should not interfere in a woman’s personal, private medical decisions.

Diane Lange writes:

Please vote to pass this bill!

William R. Snead, Jr. writes:

I hope Virginia will be the next state to pass this bill. It is essential to protect the life of the child.