You know that crazy anti-abortion bill passed by the US House of Representatives yesterday? The one that almost every single Republican voted for, even though it’s blatantly unconstitutional, extreme, and also has no chance of being enacted into law? Well, guess what: it is essentially the same bill Virginia State Senator (and nominee for Attorney General) Mark Obenshain introduced in 2012. The name of Obenshain’s bill: Virginia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act:
…prohibits an abortion after 20 weeks gestation unless, in reasonable medical judgment, the mother has a condition that so complicates her medical condition as to necessitate the abortion to avert her death or to avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function. The prohibition is predicated on the assertion that a fetus is capable of feeling pain at 20 weeks. When an abortion is not prohibited post-20 weeks gestation, the physician is required to terminate the pregnancy in a manner that would provide the unborn child the best opportunity to survive. The bill punishes an abortion in violation of the article as a Class 6 felony. The bill also provides for civil remedies against a physician who performs an abortion in violation of the article.
Heck, I’m surprised Mark Obenshain didn’t bring up the “masturbating fetus” argument while he was at it. Also note that there’s no exception for rape or incest in Obenshain’s bill. Charming.
Meanwhile, over in the Teapublican-controlled House of Representatives, the name of the bill that passed yesterday, sponsored by Rep. Trent “The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low” Franks, is the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act :
(a) Unlawful Conduct- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, it shall be unlawful for any person to perform an abortion or attempt to do so, unless in conformity with the requirements set forth in subsection (b).
(c) Criminal Penalty- Whoever violates subsection (a) shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both.
Sound familiar? Of course it does, and for good reason: the Franks and Obenshain bills are essentially the same thing – one federal, one state level; both frightening.
If you’re interested in more on the “thinking” behind this legislation (and the people sponsoring it), see
Video: Susan B. Anthony List’s Marilyn Musgrave on Trent Franks, Banning Abortion. And remember, if Republicans win this November, you can look forward to a LOT more of this type of stuff from Mark Obenshain and Company – relentless efforts aimed at criminalizing miscarriages, outlawing abortion, turning doctors and women into criminals, shutting down women’s health clinics, etc. Is this the type of Virginia you want to live in? If not, then get involved and help us elect Democrats across the board this November. Thanks.