Virginia Senate Democrats defeat 20-week abortion ban

Feb 10, 2022, 12:14 PM | Updated: 1:18 pm

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Democrat-controlled Virginia Senate committee defeated a bill Thursday that would have prohibited abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in most circumstances.

The measure from Republican Sen. Amanda Chase failed on a party-line vote of 6-9.

While a similar bill is alive in the GOP-controlled House, it has not been docketed for a hearing that legislative procedure would require take place by Friday.

“We do not see a path for the bill to pass the House, Senate, get to the governor,” said Del. Rob Bell, the chairman of the committee that would take up the bill.

Jamie Lockhart, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia, said she expected that between Thursday’s Senate committee vote and the remarks from Bell, who spoke a day earlier with the Virginia Mercury, any 20-week ban was dead for the year.

She said House Republicans were avoiding taking a vote on a controversial issue.

“House Republicans know that Virginians overwhelmingly support safe, legal abortion,” Lockhart said.

Chase’s bill, as well as the House version, would have prohibited an abortion after 20 weeks post-fertilization. It allowed for exceptions if, according to “reasonable medical judgment,” the mother required an abortion to avert her death or “serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.”

The bill was not among GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s announced legislative agenda. But the Republican said during his campaign against Democrat Terry McAuliffe that he would support a 20-week ban.

Virginia law currently allows abortion during the first and second trimesters. Abortions are only allowed during the third trimester if multiple physicians certify that the continuation of the pregnancy is likely to “substantially and irremediably” impair the mental or physical health of the mother or result in her death.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision and a follow-up 1992 decision prevent states from banning abortion before viability, the point around 24 weeks of pregnancy when a fetus can survive outside the womb. But the conservative-majority Supreme Court could overturn that standard later this year.

While Chase’s bill had not been expected to clear the Senate committee, Democratic Sen. Joe Morrissey — who says he personally opposes abortion and has long supported a 20-week ban — had indicated a willingness to join with Republicans in a long-shot procedural move to try to bring it to a floor vote.

“I’ll certainly consider that,” he told reporters last week.

Several other abortion-related measures, including one dealing with counseling requirements, are pending in the House and could be heard in a committee Friday. Tuesday is the deadline for each chamber to complete work on its own legislation.

Lockhart said she thought that even if those measures passed the House, they would be defeated by the same Democrats on the committee that killed Chase’s bill Thursday.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Labour conference starts with focus on ‘immoral’ tax cuts

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s opposition Labour Party opened its annual conference Sunday, with leaders attacking the “immoral” tax-cutting of the new Conservative government. The event, this year taking place in the northern city of Liverpool, kicked off two days after the U.K government, under new Prime Minister Liz Truss, said it would scrap a 45% […]
5 hours ago
Police officers detain a demonstrator during a protest against a partial mobilization in Moscow, Ru...
Associated Press

Winter’s approach sets clock ticking for Ukraine, Russia

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The onset of autumnal weather, with rains making fields too muddy for tanks, is beginning to cloud Ukraine’s efforts to take back more Russian-held territory before winter freezes the battlefields, a Washington-based think tank said Sunday. Russia, meanwhile, pressed on with its call-up of hundreds of thousands of men to throw […]
5 hours ago
In this photo released by Saudi Press Agency, SPA, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, right, s...
Associated Press

German leader continues Gulf tour with stops in UAE, Qatar

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz planted a tree at a mangrove park in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, a token nod to environmentalism during a two-day visit to the Gulf region focused mainly on securing new fossil fuel supplies and forging fresh alliances against Russia. Germany is trying to wean itself off […]
5 hours ago
A baker stacks loaves of Egyptian traditional "baladi" flatbread outside a bakery, in the Old Cairo...
Associated Press

Poverty and inflation: Egypt’s economy hit by global turmoil

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Stores are selling winter clothes from last season in the middle of summer. Repair shops lack spare parts for appliances. There’s a waiting list to buy a new car. Egypt, a country of more than 103 million people, is running low on foreign currency needed to buy essentials like […]
1 day ago
This satellite image provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows Tropical...
Associated Press

Florida monitors a growing Tropical Storm Ian in Caribbean

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Authorities and residents in Florida were keeping a cautious eye on Tropical Storm Ian as it rumbled through the Caribbean on Sunday, expected to continue gaining strength and become a major hurricane in the coming days on a forecast track toward the state. Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency […]
1 day ago
A Carolina dog waits for his owner to vote at a polling station in Rome, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. It...
Associated Press

Italians vote in election that could take far-right to power

ROME (AP) — Italians voted Sunday in an election that could move the country’s politics sharply toward the right during a critical time for Europe, with war in Ukraine fueling skyrocketing energy bills and testing the West’s resolve to stand united against Russian aggression. Polls opened at 7 a.m. (0500GMT) and by noon turnout was […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
Virginia Senate Democrats defeat 20-week abortion ban