Add Virginia to the list of states where lawmakers want to make it easier to be a fertilized egg than a woman. Rather than focusing on education or job creation in light of the worst recession since the 1930's, yet another state legislature has turned its energy and resources against our inalienable right to choose what happens inside our own bodies.
The Virginia House of Delegates passed two controversial anti-choice bills, sending them to the Senate. HB 1, the so-called "personhood" bill is frankly terrifying: it aims to grant full constitutional rights to fertilized eggs. This bill, should it become law, would have far-reaching consequences for the women of Virginia. It would stand between a woman and her right to a safe first trimester abortion as well as the use of FDA-approved hormonal birth control. It's one of the most extreme pieces of anti-choice legislature in the country. HB 462, much like the recent law passed in Texas, would force women to undergo an invasive ultrasound prior to an abortion, regardless of whether she can afford to pay for it. This is the only example of a medically unnecessary diagnostic test being mandated by state law and a thinly-veiled attempt to psychologically manipulate women. Anti-choice governor Bob McDonnell indicated he would consider signing the personhood bill and would definitely sign the forced-ultrasound bill should they come across his desk.
On Monday February 20th at 11 am, Virginia women and men are meeting at the Capitol to stand together in silent protest. Since the ground rules forbid assembly, signs, or chanting, people are encouraged to line the walkway between the general assembly building and the Capitol in complete silence in an effort to show lawmakers their dissent. These two bills are in direct conflict with Roe vs. Wade and show the blatant disrespect Virginia lawmakers have for their constituents' ability to make their own decisions regarding their health. They have dangerous consequences and, should they pass, are another step in a nation-wide agenda that is chipping away at our right to choose.