February 25, 2012
Just hours after a Virginia Senate committee narrowly approved a bill that would give unborn children the legal rights of citizens and "other persons," the bill was defeated Thursday in the full Senate, The Atlantic reports. The Senate voted 24-14 to send the bill back to the Senate Education and Health committee, with two pro-life Democrats abstaining, a highly unusual move that effectively killed the bill for the year. It would have provided that "unborn children at every stage of development enjoy all the rights, privileges and immunities available to other persons, citizens and residents of the commonwealth." The bill, introduced by Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William) had already been approved by the Republican-controlled House; Marshall said it would not affect birth control, IVF or abortions but would allow parents to receive damages for the death of an unborn child in a wrongful death lawsuit.