A bill led by Virginia Republicans that would have banned abortions after 15-weeks of pregnancy failed on Wednesday evening after a state Senate subcommittee blocked the legislation.
The education and health committee blocked the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protect Act” with a 9-5 vote and also defeated a proposed near total ban later in pregnancy. Under the bill, doctors who performed or assisted with an abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy would have to face a felony charge. The legislation included exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother.
Many states have passed 15-week abortion bans, both before and after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June of 2022. A 15-week cap is used because studies have found that it is possible for unborn babies to feel pain at that point of development.
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R) spokeswoman, Macaulay Porter, told Life News state Democrats “solidified their extreme position.” Abortion in Virginia is currently legal through the first and second trimesters of pregnancy, which is about 26 weeks.
Jamie Lockhart, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia, celebrated the failure of the life-saving legislation, the Huffington Post reported.
“Despite Gov. Youngkin and his allies’ relentless efforts to undermine our health and rights, today we reaffirmed that there is no place for abortion bans in Virginia,” Lockhart said.
Despite Virginia Democrats’ push for abortion on demand, polling conducted by WPA Intelligence for Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America and the Virginia Family Foundation shows voters support protecting the unborn at 15 weeks. According to the survey, 61 percent of likely Virginia voters support a pain-capable bill banning abortions after 15 weeks, with exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. Sixty-five percent also oppose abortion up until birth, while 60 percent of self-identified “pro-choice” voters agree with a 15-week limit.
SBA Pro-Life America’s Southern Regional Director Caitlin Connors said:
By 15 weeks unborn children have fully formed organs, fingers and toes, and can feel excruciating pain. With the humanity of the unborn child undeniable, over 60 percent of Virginians – whether they’re pro-life or pro-choice – support limits on abortion at least by 15 weeks.We stand with Governor Youngkin in calling on the Assembly to listen to the clear will of the people and pass this compassionate bill that would save as many as 500 lives a year.
Nationally, a Marist Poll released a survey in partnership with the Knights of Columbus found that 69 percent of American adults believe there should be at least some restrictions or an all-out ban on abortion.
While 61 percent identify as “pro-choice” and 39 percent as “pro-life,” only 21 percent of Americans believe abortion should be available at any point in pregnancy — including 32 percent of Democrats, four percent of Republicans, and 20 percent of independents. Ten percent of Americans say abortion should be available within the first six months of pregnancy.
In contrast, 25 percent of those polled believe abortion should be restricted to within the first three months of pregnancy; 26 percent say it should be restricted except in cases of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother; ten percent say it should be banned except for the life of the mother; and eight percent say it should be outlawed entirely. Combined, these percentages make up 69 percent who believe there should be restrictions on abortions beginning at least at three months of pregnancy.
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