Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield, plans to introduce a bill to ban abortions in the General Assembly’s next session.
In a video posted to Facebook on Sunday, Chase said she will introduce the “Life Begins At Conception Act.”
The bill mirrors the “Life At Conception Act” that Rep. Bob Good, R-5th, has co-sponsored at the federal level.
“The unborn child is a human person from the moment of conception,” Chase said in the video. “It’s time to end abortion violence.”
With Democrats holding a 21-19 edge in the Senate, Chase’s bill is unlikely to get out of the chamber in the 2023 session.
Shortly after the overturn of Roe v. Wade, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced he would support a ban of most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, with exceptions for rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in jeopardy.
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Youngkin directed a handful of Republican legislators to “find areas where we can agree and chart the most successful path forward.”
The outcome for further abortion restrictions could hinge on the 2023 legislative contests, when all 40 Senate seats and all 100 House seats will be up for election.
The legislation that Chase plans to model hers after defines a person as a person at the “moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being.”
It does not mention exceptions for abortions for instances of rape, incest or when the life of the pregnant person is in jeopardy — exceptions often cited in abortion bans or restrictions that have been proposed or passed around the country.
With the overturn of Roe v. Wade this summer — a 49-year-old ruling that protected abortion access at the federal level — the matter of access, restrictions or bans is now playing out nationwide at the state level.
Though abortion isn’t a purely partisan issue, it often falls along partisan lines. Republicans around the country have proposed bans or restrictions set to various weeks of pregnancy, while Democrats have worked on measures to protect access to the procedure.
Abortion-rights activists on Monday called Chase an “extreme” legislator.
“The right to access abortion is a public health imperative; when abortion is illegal or inaccessible, people and their families suffer the consequences,” said Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia Executive Director Jamie Lockhart in a statement.
“Senator Chase and other extreme legislators have been working for years to restrict access to abortion in the Commonwealth, and this latest attempt is nothing new.”
Following redistricting, Chase is in a three-way 2023 nomination fight in the 12th Senate District, facing former Sen. Glen Sturtevant and former 7th Congressional District candidate Tina Ramirez.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Party of Virginia sought to tie Chase’s announcement to the Congressional race in the 2nd District.
In a release Monday, DPVA pointed to Republican challenger Jen Kiggans’ alliance with Chase in the past on supporting abortion restrictions in Virginia. Kiggans is a state senator from Virginia Beach who is challenging Rep. Elaine Luria, D-2nd.
Kiggans has said she is “pro-life,” that she believes it’s up to states to decide and that there should be exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.
Additionally, Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-7th, released a statement seeking to tie her Republican challenger Yesli Vega to Chase as well. It noted a National Pro-Life Alliance survey Vega took earlier this year that indicated her support for the Life At Conception Act.