Virginia state senate delays anti-abortion bill
Virginia’s state senate has delayed the passage of a bill that would have forced women seeking abortions to undergo transvaginal ultrasounds.
A decision on the bill has been deferred until next year.
The move comes after Virginia’s governor, Bob McDonnell, withdrew his support for the bill due to strong opposition from women’s rights campaigners and voters.
Opponents protested that enforcing transvaginal ultrasounds would amount to a violation of women’s bodies by the government.
The bill is the just the latest high-profile case of so called “personhood” legislation. The personhood movement seeks to grant citizenship rights to unborn children from the moment of conception, effectively outlawing abortion.
A similar bill was passed by the Oklahoma state senate on February 15. However, personhood bills have struggles in other states.
In November 2011, a proposed amendment to Mississippi’s state constitution, which would have defined personhood as beginning at the moment of conception, was defeated at the polls.
Abortion has become a more high-profile topic in the US during the Republican presidential primary campaigns.
Every candidate but Mitt Romney has signed a pledge by anti-abortion organisation Personhood USA, promising to advance legislation applying citizenship rights to unborn children.