This morning the House Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee passed by a bipartisan vote of 16-6, a Family Foundation priority bill, HB 393, patroned by Delegate Matt Lohr (R-26, Harrisonburg). The bill would require abortion centers to be licensed, pass an annual inspection and have life-saving equipment, such as defibrillators, on site. Despite an attempt by Delegate David Englin (D-45, Alexandria) to water down the bill with a substitute that would’ve needlessly regulated already regulated medical specialties; and a battery of questions from some of the General Assembly’s most liberal members, such as Delegates Englin, Adam Ebbin (D-49, Arlington), freshman Patrick Hope (D-47, Arlington) and Lionell Spruill (D-77, Chesapeake); and testimony from Planned Parenthood and NARAL lobbyists, Delegate Lohr and committee allies such as freshman Delegate Scott Garrett (R-23, Lynchburg), a doctor, refuted each and every one of their misleading assertions.
Joining all 14 committee Republicans in voting for the bill were two Democrats: Delegates Algie Howell (D-90, Norfolk) and Joe Morrissey (D-74, Henrico). Unfortunately, however, Delegate Mamye BaCote (D-95, Newport News), who voted for the bill the last time it was introduced in 2008, flipped her vote to no. The bill now goes to the House floor Monday, January 25.