State Senator to Introduce Bill Banning All Abortion in Virginia

FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2021 file photo, Virginia State Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield, front, works on a laptop computer before a Senate special session in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

By Meghin Moore

November 1, 2022

“The unborn child is a human person from the moment of conception,” she said in a Facebook video announcing her plans.

Earlier this week, State Sen. Amanda Chase announced in a video posted to Facebook that she will introduce a bill during the next General Assembly session that would completely ban abortion in the commonwealth. 

The bill, called the “Life Begins at Conception Act,” mirrors one co-sponsored by Republican Reps. Rob Wittman (VA-01), Bob Good (VA-05), and Ben Cline (VA-06) at the federal level, called the “Life at Conception Act.”

In the federal-level legislation, a person is defined as a person when the “moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being.”

Chase, who posted this on Facebook Monday night, believes “abortion is not healthcare.” Earlier this week, she also posted about why she was introducing the bill to the Virginia Senate, even though she said, “The reality is that all pro-life bills will die in the Democrat controlled Health and Education Committee, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still introduce it.”

In the wake of the fall of Roe v. Wade, Gov. Glenn Youngkin has signaled support for a ban on abortion after 15 weeks, except in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is in danger. Should this bill reach his desk, it is also possible he could sign it into law.

Chase’s proposed legislation, like its federal companion legislation, does not include any exceptions.

In the midterm races, both Republican candidates running in VA-02 and VA-07 have talked about their extreme views on abortion. Yesli Vega, running against Democrat Abigail Spanberger in the 7th District, has said she would support and cosponsor similar legislation if elected to Congress. She also made comments earlier this year downplaying the possibility that a woman could get pregnant as a result of rape

In Virginia’s 2nd District, Jen Kiggans said in September that abortion as an issue was a “shiny object” on Richmond’s Morning News with John Reid. Kiggans has also come out in support of a nationwide federal abortion ban. During her time as a state senator, she has voted against legislation that would help expand reproductive health care access.

Looking ahead at Virginia’s legislature, all 100 state House seats and all 40 state Senate seats will be up for grabs in 2023, which could make or break reproductive healthcare and abortion access in the commonwealth.

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