Locke & Quinn and surrogacy attorney Colleen M. Quinn applaud the decision by the Virginia Senate on February 23, 2012, to table HB1 and end its prospects of passage this year.
This bill would have established that legal personhood existed at “every stage of human development.” Such a law would have endangered access to a number of crucial aspects of reproductive medicine: IVF, contraception, and treating ectopic pregnancies all would have been in danger. Moreover the status of thousands of embryos in storage, and put into storage in the future, would have been at issue with concerns about having to preserve embryos in perpetuity. The bottom line is that the bill was riddled with unintended (and perhaps some intended) consequences for families considering IVF, surrogacy, embryo donation and egg and sperm donation.
The voices of people concerned with reproductive health – from family building to contraception – were heard. The Virginia Senate, like the voters in Mississippi and Colorado before them, refused to take an extreme stand that would endanger reproductive health.