On a 66-32 vote, the state’s House of Delegates has passed legislation to define life as beginning at conception.
House Bill 1, sponsored by conservative Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, would impart the rights of “personhood” to a human embryo at the moment of conception.
Democrats railed on the legislation for the second day in a row, claiming it could be used to make it illegal to terminate a pregnancy or even allow women to use contraception that prevents the implantation of a fertilized egg.
"There are going to be a lot of unintended consequences," said Del. Jennifer L. McClellan, D-Richmond.
Del. Terry G. Kilgore, R-Scott, dismissed the Democrats’ arguments against the measure.
"All these accusations from the other side of the aisle, all these horror stories, that’s not going to happen," he said.
Republicans claim that the measure simply creates a civil cause of action for the wrongful death of an unborn child, a legal remedy for parents whose unborn child is killed by the negligent or criminal act of a third party.