Washington D.C., Jan 27, 2023 / 14:40 pm
A Democrat-controlled Virginia Senate committee voted down three bills that would have put more restrictions on abortion in the commonwealth, but similar bills are still being considered in the Republican-controlled House of Delegates.
The three bills would have taken very different approaches because each of them added abortion restrictions at different stages of pregnancy. Senate Bill 1284 would have banned nearly all abortions, Senate Bill 1385 would have banned abortions after the 15th gestational week, and Senate Bill 1483 would have banned abortions by the time of viability.
Virginia has some of the most permissive abortion laws in the country. Currently, a woman can get an abortion through her second trimester, which is at 25 weeks. According to the Mayo Clinic, a preborn child begins to hear at week 15, move his eyes around week 16, suck his thumb around week 21, and respond to someone’s voice at about week 25.
Senate Bill 1284, which was sponsored by Sen. T. Travis Hackworth, would have imposed the heaviest restrictions. It would have prohibited nearly all abortions and only provided exceptions for the life of the mother, rape, and incest. An abortion would have only been granted in the case of rape or incest if the probable gestational period was 20 weeks or less and an official police report was filed regarding the alleged offense.