A controversial bill, backed by Republican Virginia Bob McDonnell, which would have severely threatened abortion rights (and disproportionately affected African-American women) was killed by the state senate today. In a 24-14 vote the so-called ‘personhood’ bill was pushed off the legislative agenda indefinitely. The Huffington Post reports:

In an unexpected move, the Virginia Senate killed the state’s personhood bill, a key victory for women’s groups seeking to battle the current proposals on reproductive rights.

By a 24-14 vote, the Senate agreed to a motion by Senate Republican Leader Tommy Norment (R-James City County) to push consideration of the bill to next year’s legislative session. A coalition of Democrats and Republicans in the tied Senate voted for the motion; six Republican and 18 Democratic senators voted to push consideration of the bill back. Two Democratic senators abstained.

Following the 2011 election, the Virginia Senate has been tied 20-20 between the two parties.

The bill was expected to pass the Senate with Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling® providing a tie-breaking vote. Norment said he believed the bill needed more study.

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