Virginia is for wingnuts

Thomas Jefferson must be rolling in his grave:

If a woman in Virginia has a miscarriage without a doctor present, they must report it within 24 hours to the police or risk going to jail for a full year. At least, that’s what would have happened if a bill introduced by Virginia state Sen. Mark Obenshain (R) had become law.

And yet, the Virginia Republican Party wants to make Obenshain into the state’s top prosecutor. This weekend, Virginia Republicans selected Obenshain as their nominee to replace tea party stalwart Ken Cuccinelli (R) as the state’s attorney general.

Under Obenshain’s bill, which was introduced in 2009,

When a fetal death occurs without medical attendance upon the mother at or after the delivery or abortion, the mother or someone acting on her behalf shall, within 24 hours, report the fetal death, location of the remains, and identity of the mother to the local or state police or sheriff’s department of the city or county where the fetal death occurred. No one shall remove, destroy, or otherwise dispose of any remains without the express authorization of law-enforcement officials or the medical examiner. Any person violating the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Under Virginia law, a Class 1 misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of “confinement in jail for not more than twelve months and a fine of not more than $2,500,” so Obenshain’s bill could lead to a woman who decides to take a day to grieve the loss of a pregnancy she’d hoped to carry to term spending a year of her life in jail for that decision.

Unless all the normal people get out and vote, you can kiss sanity goodbye for this state.

H/t Kush Arora.

3 thoughts on “Virginia is for wingnuts

  1. Uh,, what about all those early miscarriages which may seem like menstrual cramps? And everything is just flushed down the toilet?

    Time for chipping all those chippies to know what their hormones could tell the authorities! Right?

  2. Obenshain is clearly crazy. The qusetion is, is he actually crazy or is he being well paid to sound crazy? After all he’s a politician and those folks will say and do anything for a buck.

  3. 24 hours sounds like an awful lot of time.
    Could that be reduced to, say, four hours in order to save time and money?

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