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Governor vows to veto LaRock’s 20-week abortion ban bill

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is promising to veto legislation banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, saying such a "socially divisive" proposal hurts the state's image.

The legislation, proposed by a Republican delegate, mirrors similar measures supported by Congressional Republicans and one signed into law in Ohio last month. Abortion-rights opponents have been emboldened by the election success of Donald Trump and the Republican Party and plan a broad push both at the state and federal level this year.

McAuliffe, a Democrat, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he wants to send a clear message to the Republican-controlled General Assembly not to "waste time" trying to be part of that effort.

The General Assembly's 2017 legislative session starts next week and McAuliffe does not typically comment on proposed legislation until after it passes both chambers. But the governor said he needed to make clear to companies looking to invest in Virginia that the legislation had no hope of passage.

"I can't sit back and have that sitting out the same time I am traveling the globe recruiting businesses to Virginia," McAuliffe said, adding that he is going on an important recruiting trip this weekend. "If there's something that would be damaging toward business, and to our image around the country and the globe, I'll veto it, you bet I will."

He also noted that he has a perfect record of having his vetoes upheld in the General Assembly.

The abortion legislation failed to pass the House last year, but the bill's sponsor, Del. Dave LaRock of Loudoun County said public support is growing.

"It's outrageous for a person with any compassion to turn a blind eye while this torture takes place," LaRock said.

The legislation is based on the assertion that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks, which opponents characterize as scientifically unsound.

Kentucky Republicans on Tuesday also introduced a 20-week abortion ban, along with a requirement that women undergo ultrasounds before having abortions. With overwhelming House and Senate majorities and control of the governor's office, these bills are considered likely to pass.


Less than 1.3% of abortions take place after 21 weeks, per the CDC.  Abortions that take place after that time involve serious risks to the woman’s health or even life, and/or severe fetal abnormalities that could cause tremendous pain or death to the baby once born.  A late-term abortion ban would only increase the agony that women in this situation, and their doctors, face.

Virginia’s population is 8.4 million, which is 2.6% of the population of the US according to Census data.  Of the 8,637 late-term abortions in the entire US, we are now talking about 224 women in Virginia.

Let’s have compassion for the difficult health decisions those women and their doctors must make, and focus our time and energy on more important issues.

@SWSWSW - “Late-term abortion ” is not a medical term, nor does it have a scientific definition. It can apply to any pregnancy that is past 13 weeks. Most women, if they have normal-risk pregnancies, have the first ultrasound at about 18-20 weeks. One of the things that can be revealed is fetal abnormality, and women can still choose at that point to terminate the pregnancy. Some do, and some do not. Mr. LaRock seeks to require complete strangers to carry to term in order to satisfy his belief system. How inhumane. How utterly lacking in compassion.

Let’s hope that once it’s vetoed, Dave LaRock can focus his energy on doing something that benefits the taxpayers of his district. 

Thus far, from what I’ve seen, his idea of great public policy is towing a pig around to protest the idea of Metro expanding into Loudoun county.

I still don’t think that women should have a choice.  If the man of the house or the doctor determine that an abortion is necessary, then so be it.  That removes this endless debate and we can all move on to the next issue finally.

Because it “hurts the state image”?  Really, that’s your justification?
This is called “late-term” and not “20-week”, which I believe one can call extreme.  Just love the liberal headline.

This is a sad exhibit of how law and science differ. We consider death on the basis of no brain activity yet it is not even in the discussion on the recognition of life. Technology can clearly identify anencephaly which will prevent life after birth and challenge the mothers ability to have other children if left to full term yet again not in the discussion. Finally, the discussion of viability seems based on outcomes achieved by early deliveries yet that is not the same set of statistics that a 20 week artificial timetable abortion limit addresses. These are the most personal decisions a family can make. In my opinion this should include consideration of what all the family members endured in prior generations to allow the opportunity to have a healthy child. Before we consider what kind of general society we have become what kind of family should exist in America? ALL COMMITMENTS COUNT!
Bob O__ Esq.

To caveat my question, please know I am very much a libertarian and simply want the government out of my life except for what is essential.  In addition, I wholeheartedly believe it truly is a women’s choice regardless; however, once a baby can feel pain (whenever that may be, I am not a scientist) is that not enough time for a women to choose to abort?  I am compassionate with cases of rape or insist and can understand why there may be additional delays because of the circumstances involved, but why late term abortion?  I am not taking one side or the other, again, it is a very personal decision, but once the baby can feel pain (whether that be 20 weeks or later), I just want to know why the choice could not have been made earlier.  Honest question, I am not trying to start an argument because I know people are very passionate on both sides.

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