On Friday, the Courts of Justice committee of the Virginia House of Delegates voted 14-4 to advance House Bill 1, a “personhood” bill to give legal status and rights to fertilized eggs from the moment of conception. If this bill becomes law, it could be used to attack the right to abortion, birth control and a range of other reproductive health care services. The full House of Delegates is expected to take a final vote on this bill on Tuesday, February 14. (You can learn more at our “personhood” information page.)
We need you to take action now to stand up against this bill! Here’s what you can do right now to make your voice heard with your legislator:
1) Find your Delegate’s information by entering your address on the Virginia General Assembly “Who’s My Legislator” page. On the results page under “More about Delegate,” you will find full contact information, including their email address and the phone number of their Capitol office.
2) Email or call (or both!) your Delegate to urge them to “oppose the H.B. 1 ‘personhood’ bill.” Here is some sample language you can use:
Dear Delegate [NAME],
As your constituent, I’m contacting you today to urge you to vote against H.B. 1, the “personhood” bill patroned by Delegate Robert G. Marshall. This bill would grant the legal status and rights of persons to fertilized eggs under Virginia law, subject only to U.S. Supreme Court precedent, and could have a devastating impact on Virginia women’s rights and health by attacking access to abortion, birth control and a range of other reproductive health care services.
I am concerned because this bill lays the groundwork for banning abortion in all circumstances — even in cases of rape, incest, fetal anomaly, or threats to a woman’s life or health — if Supreme Court precedent changes. What’s more, it could also be used to attack the legality of some of the most common and effective forms of birth control that Virginia women use, including the pill, emergency contraception, and IUDs. It would also interfere in doctors ability to treat women experiencing miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy.
Changing the definition of “person” — a word which appears over more than 25,000 times in the Code of Virginia — would also impact thousands of other laws, wreaking legal havoc and having far-reaching and unpredictable consequences.
Please don’t allow Virginia to become the first state to pass such extreme and dangerous legislation. I urge you to oppose H.B 1. Thank you very much for your consideration.
[YOUR NAME AND STREET ADDRESS]
3) Let all your friends know about this bill and urge them to take action as well! Please share this information via Facebook, Twitter or send your friends across Virginia an email. You can tag our Facebook or Twitter pages when you share and follow us for more updates and opportunities for action.