Virginia House passes 'personhood' bill

Feb. 15, 2012 at 12:45 AM

RICHMOND, Va., Feb. 15 (UPI) -- The Virginia House of Delegates Tuesday passed bills that would make a fetus a person at conception and require women to have ultrasounds before abortions.

The House approved the so-called personhood bill 66-32 and the ultrasound measure 63-36 in largely party-line votes, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. Democrats opposed both bills.

Democrats argued that with the ultrasound bill, the Legislature is intruding into something that should be up to women and their doctors. Republicans said women should be given as much information as possible before terminating a pregnancy.

"People on the other side of the issue never talk about the issue of the invasiveness to the unborn," said Republican Delegate C. Todd Gilbert. "In the vast majority of these cases, these are matters of lifestyle convenience."

The personhood bill would not outlaw abortion as long as the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade ruling stands. Critics say it could be used to bar birth control measures that prevent implantation.

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