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Va Senate kills 'personhood' bill for this year

By Bob Lewis

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Feb. 23 2012 1:59 p.m. MST

RICHMOND, Va. — A bill that would define life as starting at conception is dead for this year in Virginia.

The Senate voted 24-14 Thursday to send the so-called "personhood" bill back to committee and carry it over to 2013.

Senate Democratic Leader Richard Saslaw made the motion to shelve the bill, and Republican leader Tommy Norment supported it, saying more study is needed.

The vote came hours after the Senate Education and Health Committee endorsed the measure on an 8-7 party-line vote, with Democrats voting against it. At least three times, the committee chairman, threatened to have police remove opponents of the bill after they spoke out during debate.

The committee earlier approved a bill requiring pre-abortion external ultrasound exams. It was amended to eliminate procedures requiring an invasive ultrasound probe.

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