Virginia Lawmakers Scuttle ‘Personhood’ Bill

Posted February 24th, 2012 at 8:30 am (UTC-5)
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Lawmakers in Virginia have abandoned attempts to pass a controversial bill this year that would grant legal protections to a human embryo, which opponents said amounted to outlawing abortion.

The state Senate voted Thursday to send the bill back to a committee for consideration, putting it on hold until next year's legislative session.

The so-called personhood bill, which passed earlier this month in the the Republican-controlled House of Delegates, would have defined life as beginning from the moment of conception.

Thursday's action on the personhood bill was another setback this week for anti-abortion lawmakers. Governor Bob McDonnell urged Republican House leaders the day before to revise legislation requiring women to undergo an invasive imaging probe before having an abortion. The bill sparked demonstrations by pro-choice activists in the state capital of Richmond, and was mocked by television talk and comedy shows.