Richmond, VA – 2/13/2012 – A bill recognizing the personhood rights of the preborn passed the Virginia House of Delegates by a voice vote on Monday. A final vote is expected on Tuesday. However, Personhood USA, the national group advancing similar legislation around the country, says the bill won’t have the legal effect of ending abortion without an amendment.
Virginia’s HB1, introduced by Del. Bob Marshall, declares that “The life of each human being begins at conception,” that “Unborn children have protectable interests in life, health, and well-being,” and “The natural parents of unborn children have protectable interests in the life, health, and well-being of their unborn child.”
“The laws of this Commonwealth shall be interpreted and construed to acknowledge on behalf of the unborn child at every stage of development all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of this Commonwealth,” it reads.
“We are encouraged to see the pro-life movement uniting behind the personhood strategy,” said Personhood USA Legal Analyst Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D. “The Virginia bill confirms what we have seen around the country this year. Every pro-life presidential candidate has signed the Personhood Pledge, and numerous states have begun efforts to amend their constitutions. Personhood is the legal strategy to end abortion now, which is why the section of HB1 which recognizes the legitimacy of Roe v. Wade must be amended.”
Garcia Jones is referring to the phrase which limits the bill’s scope and renders it incapable of conflicting with current state or federal abortion law. In its current form, HB1 is “subject only to the Constitution of the United States and decisional interpretations thereof by the United States Supreme Court and specific provisions to the contrary in the statutes and constitution of this Commonwealth.”
“This bill is almost amazing. But personhood rights are actionable, not symbolic,” said Personhood USA President Keith Mason. “Personhood USA is ready and willing to put the full weight of the nation’s fastest growing pro-life organization behind Virginia’s HB1 once it is amended to reject the tyranny of the judiciary.”
Personhood USA is a grassroots, Christian organization founded to establish personhood efforts across America to create protection for every child by love and by law. Personhood USA is committed to assisting and supporting Personhood Legislation and Constitutional Amendments and building local pro-life organizations through raising awareness of the personhood of the preborn.