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Two happy surprises in two days. First the requirement for pre-abortion transvaginal ultrasound gets shot down and now this:
In a stunning turn of events, the Virginia Senate has voted 24-14 to scuttle a bill that would have given fertilized eggs the same legal rights as people.

Sen. Richard L. Saslaw, D-Fairfax, proposed that House Bill 1, which had passed the Senate Education and Health Committee earlier today on an 8-7 party line vote, be sent back to the committee and carried over to the 2013 legislative session for further discussion and deliberation. [...]

The vote effectively kills the bill for the year.

The bill, HB 1, stated that life begins at conception and that fertilized eggs have all the rights and privileges of a person, which could effectively have banned abortion and some forms of contraception. In committee, the bill passed on 8-7 on strict party-line vote on the Republican-controlled committee. But when it got to the Senate floor, the vote was 24-14 to take it off the docket until next year.
"We are a laughingstock of the world because of things like this," said Sen. Mamie E. Locke, D-Hampton, who opposed the bill. "The individual rights of women are being challenged continuously," she said, calling the issue of a woman's pregnancy a matter between "them, their family and their doctor and their God."
The impact of local and national opposition to the wacked-out proposals was appreciated by legislative Democrats:

A number of Democratic members of the Virginia House of Delegates tweeted their responses. Via Blue Virginia:

• Del. Mark Keam: "Very controversial GOP HB 1 "personhood" bill stopped in Senate on 24-16 bipartisan vote. #WinForWomen! Thanks to the public who spoke out!"

• Del. Scott Surovell: "VA Senate just killed "personhood' amendment for the year - glad they listened to The People."

• Del. Charniele Herring: "So, #personhood bill was re-referred to committee and carried over for the year. Thanks everyone & grassroots nation!"

After a year of seeing anti-abortion, anti-choice, anti-privacy, anti-woman bills pass again and again in 2011, it's a relief to see at least a couple of small victories. May they be replicated everywhere.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 03:07 PM PST.

Also republished by Pro Choice, Abortion, and Daily Kos.

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