Washington, D.C. – Two days after Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell reversed course on Virginia’s ultrasound legislation, the Virginia Senate voted against proceeding with personhood legislation. While the Senate has 20 Republican and 20 Democrat members, 18 Democrats and 6 Republicans voted to table the bill and 2 Democrats abstained form voting, resulting in a final vote count of 24-14 in favor of, at least temporarily, killing the bill.
The legislation was essentially a declaration that life begins at conception. It would not have enforcement powers but would affirm the scientific fact of when a human life begins. The legislation, sponsored by Delegate Bob Marshall, had already passed the House of Delegates and had been reported out of Committee in the Senate just before being killed on the floor.
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Delegate Bob Marshall, and Dean Mathew Staver all agreed that the personhood bill would not, by itself, prohibit abortions, contraceptives, or any other medical procedures, but rather, it would send a message to the people of the Commonwealth and the nation that Virginia agrees with the indisputable medical reality that life begins at conception.
Governor Bob McDonnell failed to lead in this effort to pass the bill. This common sense measure. Instead his lack of leadership, and even behind the scene opposition, helped to kill the bill.
Mathew Staver, Chairman of Liberty Counsel Action said, “Every legislator should understand one simple and basic truth – that human life begins at conception. If government leaders cannot understand this essential fact, they have no business serving in public office.”