Right-Wing Virginia Lawmakers Backtrack From ‘Personhood’ Measure

The Virginia Senate sent a bill that would have a recognized life as beginning at conception back to committee this afternoon, effectively killing the “personhood” bill for the 2012 legislative session. The bill’s sponsor can bring it back for consideration next year. By granting fetuses the rights of American citizens, the measure would have outlawed abortion, banned contraception, and even prevented couples from using IVF for fertility treatment. This victory for women’s health in Virginia comes a day after Gov. Bob McDonnell backtracked from his support for a bill requiring women to undergo invasive ultrasounds before receiving an abortion and forced legislators to strip that portion of the measure. Activists are still pushing anti-abortion bills round the country, however, with state legislators in Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Washington, and Wisconsin considering personhood legislation.