Virginia Might Legalize Abortion in All 9 Months of Pregnancy

Human fetus attached to a placenta. Source: Wikipedia

by Hans Bader

Virginia may permanently legalize abortion in all nine months of pregnancy by banning any regulation of abortion unless necessary to meet a compelling interest, and — more importantly — defining “compelling interest” to exclude the life of the fetus even after viability.

That is what is mandated by a state constitutional amendment that has just been proposed by the Democratic Majority Leader in Virginia’s House of Delegates, House Joint Resolution No. 1

Its text defines compelling interest to include only the health of the mother, not the life of a viable fetus, by stating that a “state interest is compelling only when it is to ensure the protection of the health of an individual seeking care.” Fetuses are not “seeking care,” only their mother is.

By contrast, even when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld abortion rights, it recognized that the state had a compelling interest in protecting a viable fetus, from being aborted in the third trimester of pregnancy. As a result, current Virginia law only allows an abortion in the third trimester to protect the health or life of the mother, when “the continuation of the pregnancy is likely to result in the death of the woman or substantially and irremediably impair the mental or physical health of the woman.”

The Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade said that abortion rights were generally protected, but for “the stage” of pregnancy “subsequent to viability, the State in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life may, if it chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.” The State has an “important and legitimate interest in protecting the potentiality of human life,” which becomes “‘compelling’ …at viability.” But a woman could nevertheless obtain an abortion even after viability, if it was necessary to protect her health.

Health is expansively defined in the Supreme Court’s Doe v. Bolton decision to include consideration of not just “physical” but also “emotional, psychological,” and other factors.

However, in its 2022 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a majority of the Supreme Court ruled there was no right to abortion under the federal Constitution, a conclusion I criticized at the time for not adhering to principles of stare decisis. I argued that the Court should have allowed certain additional limits on abortion, but not in the first trimester. I also noted the decision was unpopular with voters and would result in Democratic election victories.

Prior to the Dobbs decision, this state constitutional amendment would never have passed, because it would have been viewed as extreme to legalize all third-trimester abortions, even when the mother’s health is not at risk.

But now, it might pass, because after the Dobbs decision, voters strongly oppose limits on most abortions (at least early-term abortions). Voters are now so suspicious of any abortion limits that even Montana’s referendum to protect “born alive” infants from being aborted failed, even though Montana is more conservative than Virginia.

There’s a big difference between a third-trimester fetus that has a functioning brain and can feel agonizing pain from being aborted, and a one-month old embryo than can’t think or feel anything. I was born six weeks early, before some fetuses are aborted, and could already feel pain and have feelings. But Democrats in the legislature don’t seem to see the difference. Some anti-abortion activists don’t seem to see a difference, either: They want to ban all abortions, even the earliest abortions, which scares most suburban women who are swing voters, and makes them more likely to vote for this state constitutional amendment allowing abortion without limit in all nine months of pregnancy.

I would expect this proposed state constitutional amendment to be passed twice by the Democratic-controlled state legislature (as is required to put it on the ballot), and for it to then go on the ballot. In Virginia, the legislature has to pass a constitutional amendment twice, “in two different legislative sessions separated by an election,” to put it on the ballot. The Virginia governor plays no role in the process, and cannot veto it, so it can be passed by the legislature, and put on the ballot, on a party-line vote, without any Republican support.

My guess is that voters will only reject this state constitutional amendment if they think it is unneeded to keep a future legislature from banning abortion in the early stages of pregnancy. Voters don’t like third-term abortions, but they dislike bans on first-term abortions even more than they dislike late-term abortions. One way to make this amendment less likely to be approved by voters would be for Republicans to make clear that they won’t push for limits on abortion prior to 15 weeks. Virginia Governor Youngkin has only proposed a 15-week limit on abortions, but Republican leaders haven’t promised not to limit first-term abortions.

Democrats in the Virginia legislature uniformly oppose any new restrictions on abortion (the one Democratic legislator open to restricting abortion — Senator Joe Morrissey — was defeated in the 2023 Democratic Primary). Republicans tend to support limits on abortion.

But because Virginia is a bluish-purple state, Republicans are unlikely to ever have a big enough majority in the Virginia legislature to enact a ban on first-term abortions. So the proposed constitutional amendment probably is not needed to keep Virginia from banning abortion in the early stages of pregnancy (abortions that are legal under current law).

A few Republicans in swing districts are likely to vote against restrictions on abortion, as Republican State Senator Siobhan Dunnavant did in 2023, and as a few GOP candidates indicated they would in 2023. (Dunnavant “voted against a bill supported by Youngkin that sought to ban abortions after 15 weeks, because it didn’t have an exception for fetal anomalies”).

But others support abortion restrictions. And even a small risk of abortion bans becoming law is too much of a risk for some swing voters.

(Below is the text of the constitutional amendment, House Joint Resolution No. 1:)

 

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 1
Offered January 10, 2024
Prefiled November 20, 2023
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Virginia by adding in Article I a section numbered 11-A, relating to the fundamental right to reproductive freedom.

 

———-
Patron– Herring
———-
Committee Referral Pending
———-
RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, a majority of the members elected to each house agreeing, That the following amendment to the Constitution of Virginia be, and the same hereby is, proposed and referred to the General Assembly at its first regular session held after the next general election of members of the House of Delegates for its concurrence in conformity with the provisions of Section 1 of Article XII of the Constitution of Virginia, namely:

Amend the Constitution of Virginia by adding in Article I a section numbered 11-A as follows:

 

ARTICLE I
BILL OF RIGHTS
Section 11-A. Fundamental right to reproductive freedom.

That every individual has the fundamental right to reproductive freedom. This right to make and effectuate one’s own decisions about all matters related to one’s pregnancy shall not be denied, burdened, or infringed upon, unless justified by a compelling state interest and achieved by the least restrictive means that do not infringe an individual’s autonomous decision-making. A state interest is compelling only when it is to ensure the protection of the health of an individual seeking care, consistent with accepted clinical standards of practice and evidence-based medicine. The Commonwealth shall not discriminate in the protection or enforcement of this fundamental right.

That, except when justified by a compelling state interest, the Commonwealth shall not penalize, prosecute, or otherwise take adverse action against an individual on the basis of an actual, potential, perceived, or alleged outcome of such individual’s pregnancy, nor shall the Commonwealth penalize, prosecute, or otherwise take adverse action against an individual who aids or assists another individual, with such individual’s voluntary consent, in the exercise of such individual’s right to reproductive freedom.

That this section shall be self-executing and that if any provision of this section is held invalid, it shall be severable from the remaining portions of the section.


This column is republished with permission from Liberty Unyielding. 

Hans Bader practices law in Washington, D.C. After studying economics and history at the University of Virginia and law at Harvard, he practiced civil-rights, international-trade, and constitutional law. He also once worked in the Education Department. Hans writes for CNSNews.com and has appeared on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.” Contact him at hfb138@yahoo.com


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Comments

131 responses to “Virginia Might Legalize Abortion in All 9 Months of Pregnancy”

  1. LesGabriel Avatar

    I don’t remember many Democrats running ads in favor of totally unrestricted abortions. I guess I wasn’t paying close enough attention. As to the Montana proposed law, a child born alive cannot, by definition, be aborted. Or are retroactive abortions now considered legal?

    1. If the newborn is not able to survive long after birth (I assume this is what the “viable” in the above refers to), then euthanasia can be employed to avoid a protracted, painful death through natural means.

      We can bring up one in a million miracle survivals, but ultimately these kinds of births can be expensive, painful, and emotionally devastating for the parents. And it should be up to them if they want to put their child and themselves through months of such turmoil.

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Not to mention prolonged, potentially hazardous labor and delivery.

      2. James Kiser Avatar
        James Kiser

        Like the girl in NEB who slit her baby’s throat. Interesting that dems love killing babies but not criminals who commit murder.

        1. Yes, exactly the same as a controlled medical procedure monitored by a trained professional with intent to minimize pain. Just nailed it on the first go.

    2. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Boy, if only they were… even the Republicans would consider Tuberville as a candidate.

      1. LesGabriel Avatar

        Sorry. I don’t understand your reply. Are you suggesting that Democrats should advertise that they are for totally unrestricted abortions? Also I don’t understand the reference to Tuberville.

        1. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          Retroactive abortion.

      2. BR isn’t big enough to print the list if we were to name all the qualifying candidates:)

  2. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Even in 1976, the Baptist’s Convention (in Norfolk, no less) affirmed providing for exceptions for the health (mental and physical) of the mother. When did it become just the life, as in mortality, of the mother?

    Abortion was always just a Catholic issue until the Republicans saw a haymaker in it.

  3. LarrytheG Avatar

    So this is a Constitutional Amendment that has to go through two voting cycles which would include another election of the GA.

    And the premise is that the Dems would agree to put words on a Constitutional Amendment to this effect, knowing that voters would decide?

    This is the kind of foolish rhetoric that we have to endure from Conservatives like Bader these days.

    Like anyone would actually believe this?

    so, yeah, who would you believe?

    the GOP claim that the Dems would have unrestricted abortions
    or the Dem claim that the GOP is lying about restrictions they’d
    support if they won the GA?

    I think the voters in Va have it figured out but they can’t stop
    the hot air coming from some of the Conservatives…

    1. Fred Woerhle Avatar
      Fred Woerhle

      It’s not just House Majority Leader Herring who takes this position (the bill is supported on Twitter by the House Democratic Caucus, not just the Majority Leader). It’s also backed by the Majority of the Leader of the State Senate, and a majority of Senate Democrats, who have signed on to the exact same constitutional amendment they proposed this week in the state senate. The list of sponsors is at this link: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?241+mbr+SJ1
      The legislation is at this link: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?241+ful+SJ1

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        Thanks. I’ve read the language and the wording it does seem to prioritize the right of the individual to make a decision if the fetus will not survive to term. That’s not the same as totally unrestricted abortions
        in my mind and I don’t expect it to permit unlimited abortions of viable fetus at any stage and I predict the words will ultimately more clearly and concisely reflect that or else it will go down
        in flames. I trust the Dems to know what voters will approve based on polls and voting. I don’t
        trust the GOP / Conservatives to support what most voters will agree to and attempt to misrepresent
        it and/or fool voters into “no” votes like they’ve done before in other states and in Va.

    2. DJRippert Avatar

      Bill was pre-filed by Charniele Herring, who is a lawyer and the House majority leader.

      Why do you doubt her words?

      1. Stephen Haner Avatar
        Stephen Haner

        https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?231+mbr+HJ519

        There is the list of patrons on the last one from just this past January. Larry is the Father of Falsehood. I don’t even think he recognizes how ridiculous he is as he denies all about the liberals, and accepts on face value all the hate visited upon (OMG) conservatives. Don’t engage him, DJ, it just keeps him going.

        If they’d had the votes to pass this in January, it would pass the second time next winter and be on the 2024 ballot. But not all the Dems signed on and many of those are gone, so let’s see how it does.

      2. Stephen Haner Avatar
        Stephen Haner

        https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?231+mbr+HJ519

        There is the list of patrons on the last one from just this past January. Larry is the Father of Falsehood. I don’t even think he recognizes how ridiculous he is as he denies all about the liberals, and accepts on face value all the hate visited upon (OMG) conservatives. Don’t engage him, DJ, it just keeps him going.

        If they’d had the votes to pass this in January, it would pass the second time next winter and be on the 2024 ballot. But not all the Dems signed on and many of those are gone, so let’s see how it does.

      3. LarrytheG Avatar

        I doubt that the words as written will be the final version to be put to the voters.

        And I trust the voters and the Constitutional process
        over Conservatives on the wording and what it means as we have seen in other
        states where Conservatives have tried to mislead voters but voters got it right.

        Conservatives actually do not want voters to decide, they want Conservatives to decide.

        Fundamental problem with governance

        1. Fred Woerhle Avatar
          Fred Woerhle

          Most Democrats in the legislature do support the bill as written. Most of the Democrats in the state senate have just co-sponsored the same constitutional amendment in the state senate, as you can see at this link — including the Senate Majority Leader (Senate Joint Resolution 1): https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?241+mbr+SJ1

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            If ultimately it will be a Constitutional Amendment – if Dems expect it to pass – it will have to be
            what most voters agree with or else it will go down in flames. Right? I expect it to go something
            like the Ohio vote did but Conservatives will do their best to make claims that are largely not true in hopes
            of fooling the voters.. like they’ve done in other State votes. I don’t expect the Dem proposal ultimately to be anything but what most voters will support.

          2. Stephen Haner Avatar
            Stephen Haner

            Well, 14 is not 21 but since the last election the chances they could get 21 increased. Along with all the Green Energy money, plenty of Babies are Not People money flowed in.

      4. Stephen Haner Avatar
        Stephen Haner

        https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?231+mbr+HJ519

        There is the list of patrons on the last one from just this past January. Larry is the Father of Falsehood. I don’t even think he recognizes how ridiculous he is as he denies all about the liberals, and accepts on face value all the hate visited upon (OMG) conservatives. Don’t engage him, DJ, it just keeps him going.

        If they’d had the votes to pass this in January, it would pass the second time next winter and be on the 2024 ballot. But not all the Dems signed on and many of those are gone, so let’s see how it does.

      5. LarrytheG Avatar

        What would not surprise me at all is that Conservatives will seek to misrepresent it like has happened in other states and like Conservatives in Virginia misrepresent the majority position which actually
        represents most voters in most polls. Conservatives cannot abide it.

    3. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
      James Wyatt Whitehead

      Here is something you can believe Mr. Larry. Dismemberment abortion after 16 weeks. This is what it looks like. Not fun is it?
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8fe55f036acca6e0ebdd9f7161a5fc57d594fae7ddeb3ed83df9efa9cd28c23b.jpg

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        If the fetus was not viable, it’s sad and unfortunate for sure, but it is a reality. No, such
        photos don’t change my mind if the fetus was never going to be a child.

        1. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
          James Wyatt Whitehead

          Wow!

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            James, we all die. Sometimes some get to a point where the end is better than on the way to it.

            I do not want to see a single abortion of a viable fetus – a child.

            We do a terrible job of making sure that every baby that could be born has a chance at a good life. We do a terrible job of convincing folks to use birth control and all you have to do is look at 3rd world countries where there are few abortions of “convenience”but a ton of kids that starve to death or have terrible deformities that never get fixed unless they’re lucky and an NGO comes along and does it.

            I think it’s morally wrong to take away the choice of the mother in determining what to do when there
            are issues with viability or life not better than as barely alive and only with technology.

          2. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
            James Wyatt Whitehead

            Whatever happened to the chance to live? I expect what Bader has outlined to come to full fruition. Indeed we do all die. I take comfort in the fact that my Savior and King’s shed blood on the cross has rescued the elect from the ruinous state of fallen man. Not one the names of my Father’s lambs will be left out of the book of life. Not you, not the Commonwealth’s law, nor any legion of darkness can interfere salvations joyful sound.

          3. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Bombing victim?

          4. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
            James Wyatt Whitehead

            Double Wow!

          5. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            ‘Twas you intended to shock. Surprise.

      2. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        I see 3 feet. Maybe this was humane.

        1. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
          James Wyatt Whitehead

          You would have made a good embalmer.

          1. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            https://www.gettyimages.com/photos/civil-war-dead

            Romantic, ain’t it?

          2. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
            James Wyatt Whitehead

            “Broad is the road that leads to death,
            And thousands walk together there;
            But wisdom shows a narrow path,
            With here and there a traveler.”

          3. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Where I come from, nobody knows. Where I’m going, everyone goes.

          4. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
            James Wyatt Whitehead

            “Broad is the road that leads to death,
            And thousands walk together there;
            But wisdom shows a narrow path,
            With here and there a traveler.”

    4. Like anyone would actually believe this?

      I believe the plain wording of the proposed constitutional amendment. And I believe that those who say they support it as written, support it as written.

    5. Like anyone would actually believe this?

      I believe the plain wording of the proposed constitutional amendment is the plain wording of the proposed constitutional amendment, and I believe those who say they support it as written support it as written.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        It’s the way a LOT of legislation begins and it is far from the final form.

        It’s a process.

        I’d NOT support the initial version at all and I suspect most voters would not either and any legislator with an ounce of rational thinking knows that also and proceeds accordingly.

        Abortion in the 2nd and 3rd trimester is rare and should be and as far as I can tell almost never for “convenience”.

        There are cases where the fetus may not be viable or would exist if born only minimally with exceptional medical support that should be the decision of doctors and the women and not others who won’t have to bear the consequences of the decision.

        There are those that disagree. That’s why we have a process to resolve it and in the end, the way our governance works is by vote.

        I support that process even if in the end, it’s not the result I would like.

  4. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
    Dick Hall-Sizemore

    For once I agree with Mr. Bader. Repealing of Roe is a classic case of the need to be careful of what you ask for. Many conservatives thought that the repeal of Roe would result in the abolishing of abortion. I always thought that Roe provided Republicans safe cover for opposing abortion and, when and if Roe were repealed, those Republicans would be unwilling to vote to abolish abortion because of the public support for it. I have been proved right. Furthermore, rather than leading to the abolition of abortion, the repeal of Roe has had the exact opposite effect in many states, leading to the expansion of abortion protections. Witness the recent state constitutional amendment in Ohio, a solidly Republican state. Unless Republicans retake the Virginia House of Delegates in the 2025 elections, abortion protection will be included in the Commonwealth’s constitution. Perhaps it won’t the be language proposed above, but it will be largely protected.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      “I have been proved right. ”

      So far.

      The lure of the evangelical vote is strong.

      The Republicans are a stiff necked crowd who have also proven that they will cut off their own nose when it suits them.

      1. how_it_works Avatar
        how_it_works

        The ones in Virginia demonstrate well that Southern tendency to “let it all go to hell rather than admit you’re wrong”.

  5. Wahoo'74 Avatar

    Wow.

    So a “viable fetus” in the 2nd and 3rd trimester can be aborted even when the mother’s life is not in danger? What moral precept justifies that? Has infanticide now become a women’s right we cannot question?

    There are millions of families who are looking to adopt babies. If a woman after 4 months decides she has changed her mind about becoming a mother and there are not medical reasons for this, let her induce the birth or wait for the full term, then give up the baby for adoption.

    If this opinion is viewed to be controversial, tough. I believe infanticide is wrong, and that is precisely what this is after the fetus attains viability.

    1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
      Eric the half a troll

      “What moral precept justifies that?”

      What moral precepts justifies you being involved in that decision?

      1. Wahoo'74 Avatar

        Because as the father of 3 lovely daughters I provided the sperm that created our daughters.

        Did you flunk high school biology Eric the Half Troll? Are fathers devoid of input to these moral decisions?

        1. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          Since you are inserting yourself in every woman’s life and pregnancy based on your possible contributions to one, better get hopping.

          High school biology says, “Mama’s baby. Daddy’s maybe.”

          1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Think of the power he just delegated to every donor to every sperm bank in America… wow…

            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bzVHjg3AqIQ

        2. Eric the half a troll Avatar
          Eric the half a troll

          So you are saying because you have sired a child, you have a right to insert yourself into a decision my daughter may face in regards to her pregnancy? Yeah, sorry they didn’t cover that in high school biology at my school.

          1. DJRippert Avatar

            Society has a right to insert itself into your daughter’s decision to end a life. Since you’ve personalized this – if your daughter killed your grandson three weeks after the baby was born, should that be OK?

            At some point society decides when life begins. After that point, taking the life is murder.

          2. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Well, first I personalized it in response to Wahoo’s personalizing his response. The fact is, this is a personal issue and decision – there is simply no valid reason to involve the government in it at this point – unless you want a complete or nearly complete ban. “Society” is unlikely to decide anything in this regard – ever. There will always be vocal dissenters.

      2. DJRippert Avatar

        What moral precept allows society to prosecute a parent for killing a baby three weeks after it is born?

        At some point, society has to decide when life begins.

        I think 20 weeks makes as much sense as anything else.

        1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
          Eric the half a troll

          Very few abortions (like 100) are performed after 20 weeks in Virginia even though it is fully legal until after 26 weeks. There is really no moral justification for inserting government into that decision. Women are perfectly capable of doing the right thing.

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            I think using actual numbers like you did here does frame a rational perspective on the issue that legitimately begs the question with respect to those who advocate for more/tighter restrictions.

            Thank you.

    2. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      How ‘bout this then? Let’s make a legally binding list of potential adoptive parents who MUST adopt and become financially responsible for the “next available fetus” of women seeking an abortion post 26-weeks. If said list is empty then the procedure can be performed.

      Signing up?

      BTW, a viable fetus is one than is likely to survive to birth, not necessarily a week thereafter.

      1. Wahoo'74 Avatar

        Your retort lacks both logic and ethics. Science says babies survive outside the womb after 15 weeks.

        This is an issue of morality. Not “waiting lists” for adoption. By your response you prove you are devoid of morality. I’m not.

        You’re wrong. I’m right.

        Deal with it.

      2. Wahoo'74 Avatar

        Your retort lacks both logic and ethics. Science says babies survive outside the womb after 15 weeks.

        This is an issue of morality. Not “waiting lists” for adoption. By your response you prove you are devoid of morality. I’m not.

        You’re wrong. I’m right.

        Deal with it.

      3. Wahoo'74 Avatar

        Your retort lacks both logic and ethics. Science says babies survive outside the womb after 15 weeks.

        This is an issue of morality. Not “waiting lists” for adoption. By your response you prove you are devoid of morality. I’m not.

        You’re wrong. I’m right.

        Deal with it.

        1. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          In case you forgot, you mentioned adoption first.

          Yep, science says…

          “ In the second, “viability” addresses whether a fetus might survive outside of the uterus. Later in pregnancy, a clinician may use the term “viable” to indicate the chance for survival that a fetus has if delivered before it can fully develop in the uterus. Clinicians most commonly focus on the periviable period, which refers to weeks 20 through 25 and 6 days of a pregnancy. However, according to ACOG and the Society for Maternal–Fetal Medicine’s Obstetric Care Consensus #6, Periviable birth, rates of neonatal survival to discharge at this time range dramatically from 23% to 27% for births at 23 weeks, 42% to 59% for births at 24 weeks, and 67% to 76% for births at 25 weeks of gestation. The consensus also notes that deliveries before 23 weeks have a 5–6% survival rate and that significant morbidity is universal (98–100%) among the rare survivors. ”

          Just eyeballing it, 15 weeks is a screwed up kid with a snowball’s chance of living a week.

          Ya can’t legislate morality.

      4. Not Today Avatar

        People who say things like, “adoption is the solution” are generally NOT adoptees or adoptive parents.

    3. Eric the half a troll Avatar
      Eric the half a troll

      “So a “viable fetus” in the 2nd and 3rd trimester can be aborted even when the mother’s life is not in danger?”

      Ummm… that is actually true of the current law in Virginia…

  6. Stephen Haner Avatar
    Stephen Haner

    Looks pretty much like the last one that so many Democratic legislators signed onto, but which never was used by the R’s in responding to the campaign assault they were under….

    Cannot be on the ballot for voter approval until November 2026 at the earliest.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      And won’t be. Not without clarifying verbiage.

    2. The Repubs went with moderation on the issue instead of the scorched earth demagoguery the Dems used. Dunno if this and the past Dem proposal gives the Repubs a counter assault on the issue, or if that is the best response.

      It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

  7. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    “ In the second, “viability” addresses whether a fetus might survive outside of the uterus. Later in pregnancy, a clinician may use the term “viable” to indicate the chance for survival that a fetus has if delivered before it can fully develop in the uterus. Clinicians most commonly focus on the periviable period, which refers to weeks 20 through 25 and 6 days of a pregnancy. However, according to ACOG and the Society for Maternal–Fetal Medicine’s Obstetric Care Consensus #6, Periviable birth, rates of neonatal survival to discharge at this time range dramatically from 23% to 27% for births at 23 weeks, 42% to 59% for births at 24 weeks, and 67% to 76% for births at 25 weeks of gestation. The consensus also notes that deliveries before 23 weeks have a 5–6% survival rate and that significant morbidity is universal (98–100%) among the rare survivors.”

  8. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    “Voters are now so suspicious of any abortion limits that even Montana’s referendum to protect “born alive” infants from being aborted failed, even though Montana is more conservative than Virginia.”

    Hmm, born alive abortion? Verbiage. We call that “murder”.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      This is one of those issues like the death penalty or the right to die where many have strong bright lines in their thinking.

      But it requires compromise. There is no way one size will fit all.

      And folks have to trust the candidates and legislature to be honest about their intentions.

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        “And folks have to trust the candidates and legislature to be honest about their intentions.”

        Assume nefarious and then they are always honest.

      2. Eric the half a troll Avatar
        Eric the half a troll

        Actually, this one really does not require compromise. That is kind of the point of a constitutional amendment.

      3. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        It’s not clear what they’re talking about when they say “‘born alive’ abortion”. It’s gibberish. The baby is born. The fetus is aborted. They don’t birth fetuses to destroy them. They’re not alive when aborted.

        Perhaps they’re confusing caesarean birth with abortion?

        There are two types of lawyers, lawyers and sea lawyers. There are two types of doctors, doctors and lawyers; previous definitions apply.

        1. Dr. Gosnell used to refer to the procedure as “snipping”. It was his favorite method of assuring “fetal demise”.

          1. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            He violated the law, and was convicted of murder. If only women had access to legal options then this guy wouldn’t have been in the first place.

          2. Women do have legal options, and Dr. Gosnell was one of them. His clinic was registered and licensed, and was allowed to operate for years without any inspections.

            When authorities raided Gosnell’s clinic in 2010 they found squalid conditions: blood on the floor, the stench of urine and a flea-infested cat wandering through the facility.

            In court, Gosnell’s attorney said his client is unfairly being held to standards one might expect at the Mayo Clinic.

            So, why shouldn’t abortion facilities be required to meet the same sanitary standards as the Mayo Clinic?

          3. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            At least a dentist’s office.

          4. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            Read the wiki article on that guy. Ran a one stop-shop–provided the services of an abortionist AND a pill mill.

  9. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    “I was born six weeks early, before some fetuses are aborted, and could already feel pain and have feelings.”

    Wow! And a great memory.

    1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
      Eric the half a troll

      And at 6 weeks early, the only abortions being performed are those that threaten the life of the mother. Does Bader suggest eliminating that exclusion?

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Well, if you’d been paying attention over the past 60 years, you’d have seen the slow progression from “the physical and mental health of the mother” to the “health of the mother” to the “life of the mother”. The obvious next step is the “imminent death of the mother”.

        1. Not Today Avatar

          That is already the case in several states. “Life of the mother” means imminent risk of death, which is why women in TX and OH report being sent home to bleed out.

  10. f/k/a_tmtfairfax Avatar
    f/k/a_tmtfairfax

    If I wanted to stop voter approval for third trimester abortions, which Roe seemed to support, I’d run advertisements that started with the lefties worrying about convicted murderers feeling pain during execution and then close with photos of the remains of a late-term abortion. But I suspect the anti-abortion crowd will still push for earlier restrictions and miss the opportunity to see a line drawn.

    It would be fun to see the pro-criminal crowd deal with the inconsistencies.

    1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
      Eric the half a troll

      Why do you want to regulate 3rd trimester abortions? They are exceedingly rare as are 2nd trimester abortions.

    2. Eric the half a troll Avatar
      Eric the half a troll

      Why do you want to regulate 3rd trimester abortions? They are exceedingly rare as are 2nd trimester abortions.

    3. Eric the half a troll Avatar
      Eric the half a troll

      Why do you want to regulate 3rd trimester abortions? They are exceedingly rare as are 2nd trimester abortions.

      1. f/k/a_tmtfairfax Avatar
        f/k/a_tmtfairfax

        Because most people would not support third trimester abortions absent exceptional circumstances because of the brutality involved and because lefties, such as the ACLU, could not explain why they worry about convicted murderers feeling pain during an execution but opposing restrictions on third trimester abortions when it’s clear that the fetus would feel pain.

        And, of course, that would have been the rule of law had either Clinton or Obama had kept their campaign promises to work with Congress to enact the Freedom of Choice Act, which would have codified Roe and avoided this mess. Keep in mind that Roe authorized states to regulate or outlaw abortions in the interest of the potential life except when necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother. If FOCA was the law, the issue would be settled for the vast majority of Americans.

        1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
          Eric the half a troll

          “Because most people would not support third trimester abortions absent exceptional circumstances…”

          Given how rare 3rd trimesters are, they are reserved for exceptional circumstances. No need to regulate.

          1. f/k/a_tmtfairfax Avatar
            f/k/a_tmtfairfax

            Sans a rule, what prevents third-trimester abortions from not being exceptional? What protects the state’s interest in protecting live births? There are many doctors and other health care professionals who provide unwarranted treatments simply to make money. Look at the over-prescribing of opiates and Medicare and Medicaid fraud. Would most doctors perform an unjustified third-term abortion for the money. Most likely not. Would some? Roe and FOCA recognized that the state’s interests overrode choice in the third trimester. As Bill Clinton said so many times, “Abortion should be legal, safe and rare.” I don’t recall him pushing for no regulation of third trimester abortions. Few other nations permit them at will.

            We’ve seen doctors providing sex-change hormone treatment resulting in sterility and body-altering surgery on minor children, some of whom have serious regrets later. Don’t get me wrong, if an adult (18+) wants to receive this treatment, I think they should without any interference from the government. But we treat children differently than adults.

            Health and safety regulations are a part of medicine. If not, let’s toss licensing.

          2. Because most women who want an abortion will have it before the third trimester. Most aren’t going to deal with the “fun” of pregnancy just for the heck of it. Thus, an abortion in the third trimester is likely to be for exceptional circumstances. Circumstances we shouldn’t just blanket ban.

          3. LarrytheG Avatar

            Correct!

          4. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Circumstances that legislators should stay out of.

          5. VaPragamtist Avatar
            VaPragamtist

            “Because most women who want an abortion will have it before the third trimester”

            But some may. Do we have any data regarding the reasons for 2nd and third trimester abortions?

            Many laws exist not because most have ever considered or will ever attempt to do something, but because there are some who might.

            But if you’re arguing no law because its rare, wouldn’t it be the same as having a blanket law with exceptions carved out for exceptional circumstances? What’s the difference given your understanding of who pursues 2nd and 3rd trimester abortions?

          6. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            “Sans a rule, what prevents third-trimester abortions from not being exceptional?”

            Given the exceedingly low rate of 2nd trimester abortions in Virginia which are completely legal, there is clearly no rule needed. Further, in states which allow 3rd trimester abortions, they are still exceedingly rare. Women are not just hoping they can carry a pregnancy for 6 months just to abort the pregnancy for no reason.

  11. Eric the half a troll Avatar
    Eric the half a troll

    Something like 2% of abortions occur after 15 weeks (346 out of 15,604 in VA) – less than 1% after 21 weeks (about 100 in VA) – about 5 in the final trimester in Virginia. I think I can vote for a measure that would preserve that option for the very few women who need it with no interference or second guessing from rightwing legislators. Unless we really can’t trust certain legislators when they say “hey, we can stop at 15 weeks!” then these are the only abortions that would be impacted by this amendment. I trust women and their doctors.

    1. But Republicans want to ban all abortions to keep that 1 in the last trimester from happening. Of course, those same Republicans want to ban contraception and IVF but they usually skip over that part. The easiest way to lower the number of abortions is to increase access to the more efficient forms of birth control.. Yet, Republicans want to refuse to fund any form of birth control. Republicans make no sense.

  12. Fred Costello Avatar
    Fred Costello

    DNA science shows that the fetus, even the embryo, is a separate, unique human being — not part of the mother. That human being has done no wrong. By what right are people authorized to kill such a human being?

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      It’s also a female for the first 6 to 10 weeks. You do know that makes all men transgender, right?

    2. The embryo/fetus is not a legal person. If one wants to make the embryo/fetus a legal person, then amend the Constitution and do it. Of course, one may want to talk about banning IVF, many forms of birth control, and forcing women to register their pregnancied and miscarriages.

      1. walter smith Avatar
        walter smith

        Oh…it’s not a “legal” person.
        It’s an illegal person, so can it claim “migrant” status? You baby-killers LOVE migrants, so why not this one?
        Let’s try honesty instead of sophistry.
        Is murder of a human being bad?
        Is the “fetus” a human being?
        If the “fetus” is not a human being and just a clump of cells, why must it come out?

        You can make abortion “legal,” but you can never make it right. And you know it. Why the Pubbies are too stupid, too cowardly to state the truth is beyond me.

        Make some political compromise to shut up the baby-killers, but remember, they are the party of baby-killers. It is a great moral stain.

        1. I never understand people who think they look clever by intentionally misunderstanding something. Adopting life begins at conception means that the embryo/fetus is a legal person with all of the same protections and legal standing of someone who has been born. The embryo/fetus are just that. They are not a legal person. They do not enjoy the protections of a legal person.

          But then again, carrying about the “baby” is really just an excuse to control women and make women nothing more than an uterus with feet.

          1. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            Nice sophistry try. I didn’T say anything about being legal. You did. When did you become legal? Does that vary by the mother’s circumstances? Or do you only call the woman (oops # how do I know it is a woman. You committed a microagrression) a mother when she (oops again!) decides to keep the baby (oops again!)?
            When the egg is fertilized, it starts dividing because a human life has been initiated. You know it. I know it. Everybody knows it. Which is why you baby killers have to hide behind euphemisms and obfuscation. It is a great moral stain.

          2. To use the term baby and murders, then one is claiming that the embryo/fetus is a legal person and that a death certificate should be issued for the 25% of pregnancies that end in a miscarriage. I guess hating women so much does drive people to be stupid.

          3. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            Another good try denier. Miscarriages happen naturally. That’s not murder. But taking steps to stop the development is the choice to end a human life. Face it. You want to enable the murder of this innocent life for convenience, most likely for sex without consequences. Admit it. We sane people with moral disgust at the disgusting will agree to make your barbarity “legal” at some early point to shut up your zealotry. But it still won’t make it right. And you know it.

          4. Crib deaths happen naturally. Yet, they are investigated and a death certificate is issued. And thanks for proving one of my main points when it comes to pro-lifers. If one interacts with a pro-lifer long enough, those pro-lifers will call women sluts and want to punish them.

          5. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            You said slut. I didn’t. People like sex. People also know how babies are made. Crib deaths? Get real. Choosing to end the life is immoral. You know it. For convenience.

          6. But treating women as an uterus with feet is also immoral. Forcing women to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term after a contraception failure is immoral. Refusing to fund social safety net programs for children is also immoral.

          7. The claim of sex without consequences is just another way of calling women sluts. And thus, the overwhelming desire to punish women for having sex with the wrong man.

          8. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            If you hear the dog whistle, you must be the dog…
            And the fetus is still a created life…

          9. The the embryo/fetus is not a legal person and does not eclipse the rights of the woman.

          10. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            Look. Just admit it. You are totally OK with taking a human life, for whatever reason. I am not.
            It seems…wrong? Immoral? Barbaric? A sign of societal decay? All of the above?
            You know it is wrong. So do all the supporters. Come up with some limit that will make you baby-killers shut up, and this can quit being an issue. But it will still not be “right.”

          11. Once again, repeating memes means nothing. The embryo’fetus is not a legal person and does not mean more than the rights of the mothers. What is barbaric is thinking of women as second class citizens who need to be punished for having sex with the wrong man.

            If one wants there to be fewer abortion, the support free birth control, for Medicaid to cover all minors, and for better sex education in schools. Yet, those who want fewer abortions want to ban most forms of birth control and despise sex ed.

      2. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        and issue Social Security numbers…

        1. It’s hard for embryos to either pay or collect SS. Should working pregnant women have to be paid double and pay double FICA? At what age should a fetus be able to start collecting SS or maybe SSDI and get a bank account for the required direct deposits. These are hard questions, but with a SS# all things are possible:)

          1. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            And in the event of a miscarriage can they collect the $250 funeral benefit? Oooh, oooh, MedicAid.

      3. Fred Costello Avatar
        Fred Costello

        But the science shows that killing the unborn is killing a human being. Do you admit that killing the unborn is killing a human being?

        1. Having an abortion does not kill a legal person. Making the embryo/fetus a legal person is very different no matter how many times one repeat the stupid meme that Ben Shapiro always repeats.

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            Perhaps the “answer” if for the folks that believe that a fetus is a legal person, they should urge Youngkin and GOP candidates to run on that …..

            Get it out in front of the public realm and let voters decide.

          2. That is life begins at conception and means that most forms of birth control would have to be banned, that effective IVF would have to be banned, and that pregnancies would have to be registered with the state.

          3. LarrytheG Avatar

            If that is what someone believes then 15 weeks is murder, right? So are those they believe that
            saying that Youngkin and similar GOP are also baby-killers?

          4. Fred Costello Avatar
            Fred Costello

            Science shows that abortion kills a human being (a human being who has done no wrong). Do any of you think there should be limits to killing human beings who have done no wrong? What is really irrelevant is the morality of Youngkin’s stance and whether it is a legal person. Do you want no limits? If so, beware, you oldies. The government might decide you are not a legal person.

          5. LarrytheG Avatar

            Whether or not a fetus is a human being is not ‘science’ but a legal , religious, moral question.

            But do you think there is hypocrisy if one says they do believe that a fetus is a human being
            but they’re okay with killing ones that are less than 15 weeks old?

            Seems like if that is your belief, you’d NOT support ANY politician who is not 100% opposed, no exceptions!

            The “government” is you and I and others. We decide. We vote. We are not the Taliban where
            religious leaders decide the law.

          6. Fred Costello Avatar
            Fred Costello

            As the fetus grows, we see that this “clump of cells” is a human being, just as you, as a clump of cells, are a human being. This is not a matter of belief or laws or religion, just as your identity as a human being is not a matter of belief or laws or religion. It is biological science. The science predicted that the fetal cells would grow into a visually identifiable human being, arms and legs and all. You, in the embryo stage, had all of the coding needed to form you as you are now.

          7. LarrytheG Avatar

            Right. But not so recognized legally and not believed by all either.

            But again, if you believe this, then why do you support abortions at all or politicians that do?

          8. Fred Costello Avatar
            Fred Costello

            Why do you resort to belief and legality? That the embryo is a human being is a matter of science, not belief or laws.

          9. Fred Costello Avatar
            Fred Costello

            You did not answer my question. Do refuse to say whether you accept the science?

          10. There is no dispute that living cells are living. HOwever, the real dispute is whether an embryo/fetus is a legal person. The pro-lifers say yes and everyone else says no. Get over it and stop trying to play word games.

          11. Fred Costello Avatar
            Fred Costello

            You still did not answer my question. DNA science shows that the embryo’s cells are those of a human being and not part of the mother or father. They are the cells of a distinct, live human being, Do you accept this science?

          12. LarrytheG Avatar

            There is a problem here with regard to the distinction between science and govt.

            If science actually informed governance – across the board, we’d have better answers but the reality is that asking about science with regard to a religious or moral question that applies to governance is problematic.

          13. That human cells have the DNA of a human is irrelevant. That still does not make the embryo/fetus a legal human that can be used to punish women for having sex with the wrong man.

    3. VaPragamtist Avatar
      VaPragamtist

      Right. And can’t you be charged with 2 murders for killing a pregnant woman?

      For me, the argument over when life begins (conception or birth or some arbitrary point in between), is irrelevant.

      The potential for life begins at conception. That’s what matters.

      Its perplexing to me when I see militant pro-abortion advocates share photos and brag about their young children on social media, how they’re the best thing that’s ever happened. . .but also advocate for their invariable “right” to walk into a clinic and end that kid’s existence at any point before birth.

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Those States where double murder charges can be filed and where pro-life restrictions are in place are not mutually exclusive.

        The prosecution laws are stalking horses.

  13. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    On the lighter side, the Rolling Stones 16-city 2024 tour is sponsored by AARP.

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