National Partnership for Women & Families

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Va. lawmakers pre-file 20-week abortion ban

Virginia lawmakers last Monday pre-filed a measure (HB 1473) that would ban abortion care after 20 weeks of pregnancy, Rewire reports.

According to Rewire, state Delegate David LaRock (R) proposed the measure following two failed attempts to pass similar legislation in prior legislative sessions. The state's upcoming legislative session begins in January 2017.

HB 1473 currently has two co-sponsors, Delegates Richard Bell (R) and Mark Cole (R).

Bill details

Like the previous bills, the latest version would include exceptions only in the limited instances of life endangerment or danger of "substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function." The exceptions do not include "psychological or emotional conditions."

Further, in the instance of either exception to the ban, the bill would require that a provider try to maximize the fetus' chance of survival.

According to Rewire, individuals who violate the bill could face a Class 4 Felony conviction. In Virginia, such a conviction entails a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $100,000 (Anderson, Rewire, 12/15).