Virginia GOP clears the way for abortion restrictions
Virginia Republicans are moving swiftly to consolidate their newfound power in the General Assembly by revamping a committee that for years had been a black hole for conservative initiatives, most notably any legislation that would impose restrictions on abortion.
One of the GOP’s first acts as the new majority in the state Senate last week was to stack the Senate Education and Health Committee with some of its most ardent pro-life members, increasing the likelihood that abortion measures routinely rejected in years past under Democratic control will now actually reach the governor’s desk.
“At the end of the day, that committee is more of a pro-life committee than what it was without question,” Republican Caucus Chairman Ryan McDougle said.
Even before the General Assembly convened last week, a variety of abortion bills were being introduced by lawmakers. The most controversial of the measures is a so-called personhood bill that would grant an unborn fetus “all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of the commonwealth.”