Virginia is the latest state to join the fight to criminalize miscarriage by pushing a “personhood” bill that states human life begins at conception.
The bill passed out of committee and will be sent to the House floor for a vote today. Similar legislation passed in the House last year but failed to make it out of committee in the Senate.
Not surprisingly the bill is sponsored my a male Republican. Rep. Bob Marshall’s (R-Prince William) bill would establish a framework for parents to sue someone who caused the death of their unborn child and a wider hope of criminalizing abortion.
Anti-abortion activists are pursuing personhood measures in at least a dozen states despite having voters widely reject referendums on such measures in both 2008 and 2010.
Supporters insist the bill is needed to provide families an avenue of legal redress for the wrongful death of a fetus and will not do such things as ban contraception or criminalize miscarriage. Predictably, they have offered nothing in support of those promises but the worth of their word.
Combine the push for personhood rights with efforts to prevent women from accessing unbiased medical information concerning their pregnancies and the purpose behind all these anti-choice measures starts to become very clear. Republicans will not rest until they have succeeded in rolling women’s gains back to pre-suffrage status.
Photo from wikimediacommons via flickr.
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