Virginia lawmakers propose banning abortions past 20 weeks

By James A. Riley - Digital Content Producer
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By Mark Tenia - RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Several lawmakers are introducing a bill that would make abortions past 20 weeks illegal unless it could save the mother's life.

It's an effort that's passed in more than a dozen states, and now advocates are hoping Virginia joins the list.

"There's just no question that Virginians want public policy that understands the humanity of the unborn and I think have been heading in that direction for a long time," Victoria Cobb with The Family Foundation said.

Cobb calls the bill a common sense compromise. She says she believes 20 weeks is key.

"The 20-week mark has been set simply because it's just unquestionable at that point that the child feels pain," Cobb said.

Tara Gibson with Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia, however, is against the measure.

"I don't think that we should rely on faulty science which I think is what's being applied here," Gibson argued. "It's really just another attack in a long line of attacks we've seen on women's access to healthcare here in Virginia."

Gibson says she believes the bill will do more harm than good.

"Threatens women's health," she said. "It ignores the needs and the individual circumstances of women's health."

Meanwhile, advocates continue to argue that it's a step in the right direction.

"They're out of sync with where the public wants to be and what we understand is human life," Cobb said.

Click here to read the bill can in its entirety.  

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