A House Republican supermajority has muscled two of the most restrictive anti-abortion bills in years to passage over passionate objections from Democrats.
Del. Bob Marshall's House Bill 1 would effectively outlaw all Virginia abortions by declaring that the rights of persons apply from the moment sperm and egg unite. It passed Tuesday on a vote of 66-32.
Opponents called the measure draconian, noting that voters in Mississippi last fall resoundingly rejected adding a "personhood amendment" to their state constitution. Marshall called opponents alarmists.
On a 63-36 vote, the House passed a bill that requires women to have a transvaginal ultrasound before undergoing abortions.
Democratic Del. Charnielle Herring said it literally mandates invasive probes of women.
Republican Del. Todd Gilbert dismissed most abortions as "matters of lifestyle convenience."