The debate on SB 924, which, as amended, would mandate the Board of Health to regulate abortion centers, has spurred contentious debate on the Senate floor, and the chamber has passed the bill by temporarily. Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw promised the bill and its House amendment would be voted on today. Now, the Senate is in recess for an unrelated reason as we await the vote. During the debate, an exchange between liberal Democrat Janet Howell and pro-life conservative Republican Mark Obenshain, produced this, after the latter answered a request to cite legal precedent regarding the constitutionality of the bill:
Senator Howell: Are you the Attorney General?
Senator Obenshain: You don’t need to be the Attorney General to read the constitution.
Senator Howell: Will you be the person defending the commonwealth in a lawsuit?
Senator Obenshain: No, I will not. Will you be the person suing the commonwealth?
The chamber fell silent while even neutral observers in a viewing room let out a collective whoaaa! Senator Howell pursued no further debate with Senator Obenshain.