A new personhood law has passed in the Republican-controlled lower house of the Virginia legislature and is expected to sail through the Republican-controlled state Senate. Virginia’s right-wing extremist governor, Bob McDonnell, has signaled he will sign it.Like similar proposals that were defeated in Mississippi last year by 16 points and in Colorado by 46 points in 2008 and by 42 points in 2010, the Virginia bill defines personhood as beginning at the moment of conception, and so would redefine both abortion and contraception as murder.
In addition, Virginia Republicans in both houses of the legislature passed a law earlier this month that requires women seeking abortions to submit to a trans-vaginal ultrasound probe before the procedure. Neither the woman nor her doctor can countermand the administration of the probe, which requires vaginal penetration and which serves no medical purpose.
Unlike the referenda that failed in Mississippi and Colorado, the bills in Virginia are going through the legislative process and, assuming the personhood law passes the state senate, both will become law upon signing by Gov. McDonnell.
McDonnell is said to be on the short list of prospective candidates for the GOP vice presidential slot, if Mitt Romney becomes the party’s nominee.
There are arguably around 3 million women in Virginia in the age group who use contraceptives. However, there was no immediately available reporting on the cost to state taxpayers to police trafficking in illegal contraceptives or to arrest, try and imprison women for murder when they are caught using contraceptives. It is also unclear whether the partners of women who use contraceptives would be considered accomplices to murder.
Taken to its extreme, it’s likely that married women would become murder suspects if they do not produce children every other year or so during their child-bearing years.
In 2008, 28,698 women received abortions in Virginia. However, there was also no reporting on the cost to Virginia taxpayers to administer over 28,000 mandatory vaginal probes every year.