Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act; created, penalty. (HB963)

Introduced By

Del. Dave LaRock (R-Loudoun) with support from co-patrons Del. Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg), and Del. Matt Fariss (R-Rustburg)

Progress

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

Description

Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act; penalty. Creates the 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. 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 performance of an abortion in violation of the Act as a Class 4 felony. The bill also provides for civil remedies against a physician who performs an abortion in violation of the Act. Read the Bill »

Status

02/12/2016: Failed to Pass in Committee

History

DateAction
01/12/2016Committee
01/12/2016Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/16 16103827D
01/12/2016Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/14/2016Impact statement from VCSC (HB963)
01/28/2016Impact statement from VDH (HB963)
02/04/2016Assigned to sub: Constitutional Law
02/04/2016Assigned App. sub: Constitutional Law
02/04/2016Assigned Courts sub: Constitutional Law
02/10/2016Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (4-Y 2-N)
02/12/2016Continued to 2017 in Courts of Justice

Comments

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Here's the unusual bit of this bill:

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.

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

The ACLU of Virginia strongly opposes this bill. Because of the inherently private nature of a woman’s decision to continue or terminate a pre-viability pregnancy, the Supreme Court has recognized that she should be “be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion” when making that decision. Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 851 (1992). But in conflict with the law, in disregard of medical science, and for reasons unrelated to viability, this bill takes away a woman’s decision-making ability after a certain number of weeks. Banning abortions starting at 20 weeks—which is a pre-viability stage of pregnancy—directly contradicts longstanding precedent and would be yet another step toward severely restricting access to abortion in Virginia. We can all agree that a woman’s health, not politics, should drive important medical decisions. Politicians aren’t medical experts and they shouldn’t be meddling.

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

The ACLU of Virginia strongly opposes this bill. Because of the inherently private nature of a woman’s decision to continue or terminate a pre-viability pregnancy, the Supreme Court has recognized that she should be “be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion” when making that decision. Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 851 (1992). But in conflict with the law, in disregard of medical science, and for reasons unrelated to viability, this bill takes away a woman’s decision-making ability after a certain number of weeks. Banning abortions starting at 20 weeks—which is a pre-viability stage of pregnancy—directly contradicts longstanding precedent and would be yet another step toward severely restricting access to abortion in Virginia. We can all agree that a woman’s health, not politics, should drive important medical decisions. Politicians aren’t medical experts and they shouldn’t be meddling.

Diane Lange writes:

Please pass this bill. Banning an abortion after 20 weeks is the right thing to do. Babies are viable at 21 weeks. It has been shown they can feel pain. Our whole outlook on life ethically requires that pain not be deliberately inflicted on anyone. They do not deserve such inhuman practices that we have made laws about to protect other animal species from. We can be fined up to $20,000 for disturbing Sea Turtle eggs which are protected under Federal and State law, we can be jailed for harming or disturbing Golden or Bald Eagles eggs. Please give humans in the womb the same protection!

Dixie Greer writes:

Please pass this bill which would protect 20 week old babies (human being) that feel pain. The federal government protect eagle and sea turtle eggs what is wrong with this picture. Do what is Right! Thank you for your vote.