Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act; penalty. (HB1473)

Introduced By

Del. Dave LaRock (R-Loudoun) with support from co-patron Del. Dickie Bell (R-Staunton)

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). 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 »

Outcome

Bill Has Failed

History

DateAction
12/12/2016Committee
12/12/2016Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/17 17100649D
12/12/2016Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
12/14/2016Impact statement from VCSC (HB1473)
01/13/2017Impact statement from VDH (HB1473)
02/07/2017Left in Courts of Justice

Comments

Kelley Marlin writes:

How dare you try to criminalize abortion? As a woman I am highly offended that you think you have the right to legislate women's reproductive rights. This is NOT what the people of Virginia want our elected officials spending their time and our tax dollars on. Get your hands off our bodies and start focusing on jobs, infrastructure and things that will help your constituency. It is none of your business what women choose to do when faced with the many complications of pregnancy. What you are proposing is not only self-serving, it is harmful to women. You won't actually stop women who are convinced this is the right choice for them, you will only push women who can't afford to go somewhere else for the procedure to places that are unsafe and in your self-righteous mind, unspeakable. In order to protect lives, you need to stop trying to take away options. This is a very dangerous game you are playing with the lives of women, and we aren't about to sit back and let you try to control our decisions without a fight.

Rob Waters writes:

The Virginia GOP's what, fourth attempt at this bill? HB 963 (2016), HB 2321 (2015), and HB1285 (2012). There was even a different version before that. It's time to let these guys know that a woman's right to decide what happens with her uterus is not up to the whims of the legislature. Maybe if they spent more time improving the quality of life in the Commonwealth instead of creating 2-10 year felony charges, people will want to expand their families because they can afford to instead of facing poverty.

Ryan writes:

Great, another bill legislating women's reproductive rights introduced by two MEN who feel smarter than the women they represent.

Opal Stroup writes:

Reproductive choices belong with the woman, her doctor and her God - not the legislature.

Bryant Dameron writes:

Trust women. Put your efforts into improving the quality of life in the Commonwealth instead of making women's healthcare decisions for them and you may find that a lot fewer women have to make the difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy. According to his bio on this site Dr. LaRock had a 0% success rate passing bills he patroned, hopefully the trend continues.

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

The ACLU of Virginia strongly opposes HB1473 because it is cruel, dangerous, and unconstitutional. This bill poses a serious threat to women’s health, ignoring women’s health needs and individual circumstances and seeking to ban abortions at twenty weeks. The sponsors of this bill seek to deny a woman the dignity to make personal, private decisions. Every pregnant woman faces her own unique circumstances, challenges, and potential complications. It isn’t always possible for a woman to get an abortion as soon as she has made her decision – many things can stand in her way. A woman’s health is what should drive important medical decisions – not political agendas.

ACLU-VA Women's Rights and Reproductive Freedom writes:

The ACLU of Virginia strongly opposes HB1473 because it is cruel, dangerous, and unconstitutional. This bill poses a serious threat to women’s health, ignoring women’s health needs and individual circumstances and seeking to ban abortions at twenty weeks. The sponsors of this bill seek to deny a woman the dignity to make personal, private decisions. Every pregnant woman faces her own unique circumstances, challenges, and potential complications. It isn’t always possible for a woman to get an abortion as soon as she has made her decision – many things can stand in her way. A woman’s health is what should drive important medical decisions – not political agendas.

Sidney Newton writes:

Yet another in a long line of bills which seek to insert the amateur obstetricians of the legislature into the health care decisions women and their professional doctors make. And during the same sessions lawmakers have elected not to direct the Commissioner of Labor to develop a family leave policy. So - lawmakers feel it is imperative for them to determine that a woman must carry a pregnancy to term but wash their hands of the whole process after that. Stop wasting our time and money with this.

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

The ACLU of Virginia strongly opposes HB1473 because it is cruel, dangerous, and unconstitutional. This bill poses a serious threat to women’s health, ignoring women’s health needs and individual circumstances and seeking to ban abortions at twenty weeks. The sponsors of this bill seek to deny a woman the dignity to make personal, private decisions. Every pregnant woman faces her own unique circumstances, challenges, and potential complications. It isn’t always possible for a woman to get an abortion as soon as she has made her decision – many things can stand in her way. A woman’s health is what should drive important medical decisions – not political agendas.

Darren Zieger writes:

So... you're worried that a fetus might experience pain while being aborted.

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that your concern is genuine and driven by compassion.

And I think it's safe to assume that you consider a fetus to be a child, with all of the rights a child has at birth. Possibly even greater rights than the woman carrying it.

But if you are so concerned about the suffering of innocent children, why have you not introduced a bill banning circumcision?

That procedure involves cutting off an infant's foreskin, and is performed without anaesthesia. The child surely experiences pain. Extreme pain, I would wager, which could very well cause enduring trauma.

If you are unconcerned about the circumcision issue, but fiercely determined to prevent a moment of pain for a fetus before nonexistence (which can only possibly occur during a rare, mid to late term abortion), you are a hypocrite of the highest order.

I would also tend to think that this legislation has nothing to do with the fetus and all to do with an ongoing assault by the GOP and the right wing to strip women of all of their reproductive freedom -- and as many more of their civil rights as you can manage.

Either way, we will fight you tooth and nail.

Colleen writes:

Focus on making progress for Virginians on things that matter to all of us - jobs, infrastructure, the environment. Leave women's healthcare decisions between a woman and her Doctor where they belong.

Alison writes:

Look, as a mother of 2 healthy children I have direct experience of what it is like to be pregnant and give birth. So let me let you men in on something. Do you really think that any woman would choose on a whim to abort a healthy pregnancy after 20 weeks? If a decision was to be made to abort, she would have chosen to do it as soon as she found out she was pregnant in the very early stages. (And btw, if you defund Planned Parenthood and stop educating girls & women on making good, responsible choices about contraception and about their bodies, sexual reproduction etc. you might start getting more cases where women carry full term and don't even realized they were pregnant. You can avoid abortions better by avoiding unwanted pregnancies.) If a woman went to the trouble of carrying the pregnancy to 20 wks it is very likely she wanted to have the baby and would not lightly choose to abort unless there was something seriously wrong and life threatening. You make it sound like women LOVE getting abortions willy nilly. It is a devastating decision for most women to be in the position to choose to abort whether by choice or unavoidable circumstances. So, you do not need regulate what we decide to do with our bodies. Trust us to know that WE will know what is best for us. If you really care about saving previous human lives, how about you do something about gun control so that people won't keep dying from gun violence.

Mary-Helen Sullivan writes:

It is wrongheaded for the state to interfere with a woman's private decision about her reproductive health. If the pregnancy was something a woman wants, things can still go horribly awry by the 20th week. Preventing a woman from aborting her fetus at that point is cruel.