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Virginia Lawmaker Calls Abortion a "Lifestyle Convenience"

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Ted Miller is the director of communications and online advocacy strategies for NARAL Pro-Choice America

As anti-choice presidential candidates' supporters make offensive jokes about birth control and lawmakers in Congress refuse to allow a pro-choice woman to testify at hearings on contraception, lest we forget that this War on Women is unfolding in state legislatures as well.

Let's cross the Potomac River and address what is going in the Old Dominion.

Legislators in Virginia are advancing two egregious bills. One measure called "personhood" would ban abortion and common forms of contraception; the other would mandate that a woman seeking abortion care undergo an ultrasound, even if she doesn't ask for one or if her doctor doesn't recommend it.

The Los Angeles Times reported this about the debate on the "personhood" bill:

Thursday's debate included a notable comment from delegate Todd Gilbert about the decision to have an abortion.

"We hear the same song over there. The very tragic human notes that are often touched upon involve extreme examples," said Gilbert (R-Shenandoah). "But in the vast majority of these cases, these are matters of lifestyle convenience."

At those words, a murmur rippled through the House chamber, the Associated Press said. 

The comment, [Tarina] Keene [of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia] said in a phone interview, demonstrates the antiabortion lawmakers' views' of women's reproductive rights.

"It doesn't matter why a woman chooses to terminate her pregnancy," she said. "That's a very private and personal decision to make. For these legislators to make these sweeping allegations and judgments of women just goes to show that this is not just about women's health. It's about curtailing abortions and punishing women."

As you can see, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia is on it, leading the fight in the media and channeling tons of calls and messages to the Virginia General Assembly.

If you're a Virginian or know any Virginians, please share this information from our affiliate.

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