Abortion opponents came under fire yesterday from Virginia legislators angry at their attempt to tack on to routine legislation an amendment limiting the abortion rights of unmarried women under the age of 18.
However, with less than two weeks left in the assembly session, an antiabortion group called the Virginia Society for Human Life may have enough votes in a House committee to attach the abortion restriction on a run-of-the-mill bill recodifying a set of state regulations on professional occupations.
The amendment, which the House General Laws Committee is expected to vote on tomorrow, would require parents to be notified by a doctor if their teen-age daughter seeks an abortion.
The amendment language is virtually identical to a bill that passed the House last year, but died in the Senate. In this session, a state Senate committee killed this year's version of the parental notification legislation.
"We feel the General Assembly should act in this area," Mal Brubaker, an attorney for the antiabortion group, told committee members.
Several Democrats on the general laws panel said they adamantly opposed using a housekeeping bill on the Virginia legal code to set the state's government's policy on abortion.
"This amendment represents a radical departure from legislative policy," said Del. William P. Robinson Jr. (D-Norfolk). "It's inappropriate for us to do it in a make-haste" fashion.