Text of the Virginia Personhood Bill
Summary as introduced
Rights of unborn children. Provides that unborn children at every stage of development enjoy all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of the Commonwealth, subject only to the laws and constitutions of Virginia and the United States, precedents of the United States Supreme Court, and provisions to the contrary in the statutes of the Commonwealth.
Offered January 11, 2012
Prefiled November 21, 2011
A BILL to construe the word "person" under Virginia law, including but not limited to § 8.01-50 of the Code of Virginia, to include unborn children.
Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1. § 1. The life of each human being begins at conception.
§ 2. Unborn children have protectable interests in life, health, and well-being.
§ 3. The natural parents of unborn children have protectable interests in the life, health, and well-being of their unborn child.
§ 4. The laws of this Commonwealth shall be interpreted and construed to acknowledge on behalf of the unborn child at every stage of development all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of this Commonwealth, subject only to the Constitution of the United States and decisional interpretations thereof by the United States Supreme Court and specific provisions to the contrary in the statutes and constitution of this Commonwealth.
§ 5. As used in this section, the term "unborn children" or "unborn child" shall include any unborn child or children or the offspring of human beings from the moment of conception until birth at every stage of biological development.
§ 6. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as creating a cause of action against a woman for indirectly harming her unborn child by failing to properly care for herself or by failing to follow any particular program of prenatal care.
§ 7. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as affecting lawful assisted conception.
FLOOR AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE
(Proposed by Delegate McClellan
on February 13, 2012)
(Patron Prior to Substitute--Delegate Marshall, R.G.)
A BILL to amend and reenact § 8.01-50 of the code of Virginia, relating to wrongful death of an unborn child.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1. That § 8.01-50 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:
§ 8.01-50. Action for death by wrongful act; how and when to be brought.
A. Whenever the death of a person shall be caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of any person or corporation, or of any ship or vessel, or the death of an unborn child caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default of any person or corporation, or of any ship or vessel to the pregnant woman/mother, and the act, neglect, or default is such as would, if death had not ensued, have entitled the party injured to maintain an action, or to proceed in rem against such ship or vessel or in personam against the owners thereof or those having control of her, and to recover damages in respect thereof, then, and in every such case, the person who, or corporation or ship or vessel which, would have been liable, if death had not ensued, shall be liable to an action for damages, or, if a ship or vessel, to a libel in rem, and her owners or those responsible for her acts or defaults or negligence to a libel in personam, notwithstanding the death of the person injured, and although the death shall have been caused under such circumstances, as amount in law to a felony.
B. Every such action under this section shall be brought by and in the name of the personal representative of such deceased person within the time limits specified in § 8.01-244.
C. If the deceased person was an infant who was in the custody of a parent pursuant to an order of court or written agreement with the other parent, administration shall be granted first to the parent having custody; however, that parent may waive his right to qualify in favor of any other person designated by him. If no such parent or his designee applies for administration within thirty days from the death of the infant, administration shall be granted as in other cases.
D. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as creating a cause of action against a woman for directly or indirectly harming her unborn child.
Vote in House
YEAS--Albo, Anderson, Bell, Richard P., Bell, Robert B., Byron, Cline, Cole, Comstock, Cosgrove, Cox, J.A., Cox, M.K., Crockett-Stark, Dudenhefer, Edmunds, Fariss, Farrell, Garrett, Gilbert, Greason, Habeeb, Head, Helsel, Hodges, Hugo, Iaquinto, Ingram, Johnson, Jones, Kilgore, Knight, Landes, LeMunyon, Lingamfelter, Loupassi, Marshall, D.W., Marshall, R.G., Massie, Merricks, Miller, Minchew, Morefield, Morris, O'Bannon, O'Quinn, Orrock, Peace, Pogge, Poindexter, Putney, Ramadan, Ransone, Robinson, Rush, Scott, E.T., Sherwood, Stolle, Tata, Villanueva, Ware, R.L., Watson, Webert, Wilt, Wright, Yancey, Yost, Mr. Speaker--66.
NAYS--Alexander, BaCote, Brink, Bulova, Carr, Dance, Englin, Filler-Corn, Herring, Hope, Howell, A.T., James, Joannou, Keam, Kory, Lewis, Lopez, May, McClellan, McQuinn, Morrissey, Plum, Rust, Scott, J.M., Sickles, Spruill, Surovell, Toscano, Tyler, Ward, Ware, O., Watts--32.
NOT VOTING--Purkey, Torian--2.