The new bills would ban abortion as early as six weeks, make it extremely difficult for minors to obtain abortions, make all women wait longer to get an abortion, and force women carrying fetuses with fatal anomalies to hear about perinatal hospice options that may not even exist in the state.
In a Friday afternoon vote that allowed for neither audience testimony nor a recorded roll-call vote from its members, a Republican-dominated subcommittee in the Virginia House of Delegates voted against repealing the state’s 2012 mandatory ultrasound law.
Abortion access across the South is decreasing as anti-choice politics spread into “back-door” abortion bans through increased clinic regulation.
The bill, HB 4223, was introduced last May and has 34 Republican co-sponsors. Committee members reportedly expect the bill to advance after they reconvene to hear more testimony, possibly as early as next week.
A bill introduced in the South Dakota house would restrict abortion services in the state by targeting second-trimester abortions with never-before-used legislative language.
If any of the bills passed, Missouri would join Utah and South Dakota as the only states with 72-hour waiting periods.
A senate bill could target doctors for anti-choice protests, while a house bill would ban private insurance coverage of abortion.
Anti-choice state lawmakers have introduced legislation in Colorado that defines life as beginning at conception, reflecting “personhood” ballot initiatives defeated overwhelmingly in 2008 and 2010.
The governor reiterated his anti-choice intentions last week as state legislators introduced several extreme anti-choice bills.
Virginia Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe has announced his selection of Dr. Bill Hazel as secretary of health and human resources, calling him an “invaluable asset.” Hazel was selected for that cabinet post in 2010 by Gov. Bob McDonnell, and has supported the outgoing governor in the implementation of several anti-choice policies.