After a committee approved a bill that would give "unborn children" the legal rights of citizens and "other persons", the bill was defeated Thursday in the Virginia Senate.
"Personhood" bills are popular among anti-abortion advocates, but they go too far for some, including the voters in Mississippi who recently rejected a similar measure by a healthy margin. Critics point out that these laws could outlaw not just abortion but birth control and in vitro fertilization, though the Virginia bill had language to avoid that. The Virginia Senate voted 24-14 to send the bill back to committee, which state senator Mark Herring explained in a tweet: "Translation = Bill is defeated." It comes on the heels of another victory for pro-choice supporters in Virginia: the governor's decision to back away from a rule that would require vaginal ultrasounds to those seeking an abortion. Still, the bill's brief moment on the national stage is just more evidence that the Culture Wars are back in action.