Last week at the General Assembly we witnessed the power of prayer and the impact of your efforts to contact your Delegates and Senators. Thank you! We want to give you a brief summary of this week's highlights so you can continue to be informed and involved in The Family Foundation's work in the halls of Jefferson's Capitol. This week has been full of victories for life, marriage, and homeschool freedom. In the Senate Education and Health committee Thursday morning, the committee was presented with three different pro-abortion bills: two attacking the crucial ultrasound update to informed consent and one that would have required Virginians to subsidize abortion coverage in Virginia health exchanges. All three bills failed. Incredulously, Senator Louise Lucas (D-18, Portsmouth) voted with all eight Republicans on one of the ultrasound repeal bills because she explained that she didn't think it was radicalenough.
On the life front in the House, a repeal to the ultrasound update to informed consent, a bill to deny religious liberty rights of employers, and a bill to redefine "birth control" to include abortifacients all failed today in subcommittee.
We have also had many victories in the fight to preserve marriage. A bill calling for the repeal of Virginia's marriage amendment failed in the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee Tuesday night, while a bill that would have allowed cohabitating, unmarried couples (whether same-sex or heterosexual) to adopt failed in the Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee. Other bills that would have repealed laws banning same sex marriage and civil unions, as well as change terms like "husband" and "wife" to "spouse" failed in a House Courts subcommittee after lengthy debate.
Finally, we have also had a homeschool victory this week! On Thursday, the House passed the Tebow Bill, which would allow homeschool students to try out for public school athletics. The 57-41 vote in favor of the Tebow Bill demonstrates a high level of support for homeschool freedom. The Tebow Bill will now move on to the Senate Education and Health Committee where we are hopeful of its passage.
Several bills we support that would further protect our children from human trafficking are also advancing.
While our battle in the General Assembly is far from over, this week has been one of tough battles and several victories, which is incredibly motivating. Thank you for your endless prayers and support since the beginning of session.
We still need your support as the General Assembly session continues. We are not even halfway through. We can't fight this battle without your help! Please watch for our upcoming "Action Alerts" and act on them to influence your elected officials here in Richmond!