With the 2023 General Assembly session now underway in the Commonwealth, two local lawmakers have filed legislation to ban most abortions in Virginia after 15 weeks.
This comes after Virginia Sen. Stephen Newman and Del. Kathy Byron, both Republicans, were tapped by Gov. Glenn Youngkin to craft abortion legislation following the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June of 2022.
Newman represents the 23rd district, which covers Campbell County, Botetourt County, Craig County and parts of Bedford County, Roanoke County and Lynchburg City; Byron on the other hand represents the 22nd House district, which covers parts of Bedford, Campbell and Franklin Counties as well as the City of Lynchburg.
If approved, physicians who violate the ban could face a Class 4 felony, which carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a $100,000 fine in the state of Virginia.
Similar to Youngkin’s proposal, the bill introduced by Newman (SB 1385) and Byron (HB 2278) would allow for some exceptions, including if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest and in cases where the continuation of the pregnancy would put the mother’s life at risk.
In order to become law, the bill would need to be passed by both legislative chambers and be signed by the governor.