"safe legal and rare"

McAuliffe Opposes Abortion Center Safety Measures Supported By Gosnell's Lawyer!

Hand it to Terry McAuliffe. He won't back down. Not to the abortion industry. Not even to the point of being more pro-abortion than convicted baby murder Kermit Gosnell's lawyer. Even former President Bill Clinton, of whom McAuliffe is one of the biggest of FOBs (Friends of Bill) wants abortion "Safe, legal and rare." But McAuliffe has drawn a stark contrast between himself and a super majority of Virginians and Americans at large — even those who support abortion, but recognize the abomination it has become in abortion centers, such as the "Houses of Horrors" run by Gosnell and others. Last week, the Susan B. Anthony List released a statement describing the extreme position McAuliffe has taken on abortion center safety standards and how even Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for the recently convicted Gosnell, who said his client suffered from the "baby factor," supports oversight of abortion centers and certain restrictions on their procedures. Here is the entire news release:

Terry McAuliffe Opposes Abortion Clinic Regulations Supported by Gosnell Attorney

Jack McMahon Says He Supports Increased Regulation of Clinics, Late-Term Abortion Limit

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week Jack McMahon, defense attorney for convicted murderer and late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell, told FOX News' Megyn Kelly that he supports increased regulation of abortion clinics as well as a ban on abortion past 16-17 weeks in order to forestall crimes like those Gosnell committed. In light of McMahon's statements, Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) President Marjorie Dannenfelser blasted Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe's opposition to increased health and safety standards for the Commonwealth's abortion facilities.

"Weeks of graphic testimony detailing the horrors and conditions inside Kermit Gosnell's Philadelphia abortion clinic was enough to sway even Gosnell's own attorney,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “If McMahon can agree that women going into abortion facilities must be treated with basic dignity and respect, why can't Terry McAuliffe? Virginia women are increasingly disturbed that a politician who seeks to represent women would oppose such elementary efforts to protect our health and safety.

“Kermit Gosnell isn't alone. More than 80 violations were discovered inside Virginia abortion facilities last year. Unsafe, unsanitary conditions — not to mention barbaric abortion practices — continue to be exposed nationwide. Shame on McAuliffe for refusing to join the General Assembly and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in standing up for Virginia women. Women deserve better than his extreme abortion ideology.”

Last month, McAuliffe's campaign was asked by the Washington Post to confirm or deny that he supports “a platform of abortion on-demand at any time, for any reason, paid for by Virginia taxpayers,” including “sex-selective abortion, late-term abortion, partial-birth abortion, and abortions on teenage girls without parental consent — all paid for by Virginia taxpayers.” McAuliffe spokesman Josh Schwerin declined to comment to the Post.

The SBA List has compiled an ever-expanding fact sheet on abortion industry negligence and brutality toward women and children occurring nationwide.

Terry McAuliffe: Too extreme for Bill Clinton; too extreme even for convicted killer Kermit Gosnell's attorney!

Planned Parenthood: In Their Own (Shrieking) Words

As with yesterday's post about the NEA, where a high ranking official without shame articulated that group's real objectives (money and power) in contradiction to its stated goals of improving education, today we bring you something similar, though thoroughly crude and disturbing, by Planned Parenthood. It's a video, by our friends at Catholicvote.org, of a Planned Parenthood march and rally earlier this year. The video simply records pro-abortion radicals saying (often screaming) what they believe, while (to put it kindly) distorting what pro-lifers believe. Of course, the Mainstream Media won't embarrass its own movement by covering such nonsense (but when there's a Tea Party rally calling for commonsense spending restraint . . . you know what happens). Neither did the MSM cover this rally of "liberals" last year, where participants gladly called themselves socialists and communists. (But let a conservative call these radicals what they admit to being and the media contrives a firestorm.) Still, it's important to hear what the pro-abortion side truly believes (government funding and insurance coverage of abortion on demand), in their own (shrill) words. Nothing close to "safe, legal and rare." Of course, liberals claim that conservatives distort their positions and it is conservatives who are out of touch. But it's hard to claim Planned Parenthood is reasonable after watching this. As with the teachers union, what Planned Parenthood says (and how it acts) for public consumption and what it sincerely shrieks when it thinks no one is watching is vastly different.

"Government should fund Planned Parenthood."

"I want Planned Parenthood to be like Starbucks. I want a Planned Parenthood on every corner."

Number Two Senate Democrat: D.C. Abortion Rate High Because 'Residents Are Black'

As reported in today's Washington Examiner by David Freddoso (click here), U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), the Senate Majority Whip, last week told fellow Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) during a committee mark-up session that Washington, D.C.'s abortion rate is high because its citizens "are black." Here's the exchange, as reported by Freddoso, starting with a comment by Brownback about his attempt to make Democrats live up to former President Bill Clinton's (cynical) abortion mantra of "safe, legal and rare:" 

"Forty-one percent of pregnancies — that's not rare,"  (Brownback) said. "We do not need to have more abortions in the District of Columbia."

Durbin's reply to this point —and Brownback's interruption of him — follows below.

Durbin: In terms of safe, legal and rare, to the Senator from Kansas, I will tell you two things. First, it is a fact that a disproportionately large number of African Americans seek abortion in America, not just in the District of Columbia, but all across the nation.

Brownback: 41 percent?

Durbin: No, but it's also a fact that a disproportionately large number of African Americans live in the District of Columbia.

Brownback: 41 percent?

Durbin: I'm telling you, look at the numbers.

Brownback: I'm telling — I'm just asking you, aren't there enough [abortions] here?

Durbin: Look at the numbers, and you will find this to be true.

Brownback: This — this is not high enough?

Read the whole article (linked above) to get Senator Durbin's full unsavory patronization of D.C.'s black community, a community liberals supposedly care so much about. Or, click to hear the senators go after each other yourself (the audio also is on the article's Web page).

As Crossover Approaches, It's All To Play For

Tuesday is "crossover" day in the General Assembly, the day when work on bills from their respective chambers must be complete. The past two weeks have been long and intense, as you have been able to tell by reading this blog and by the number of e-mail alerts you've received. (If you don't receive our e-mail alerts, you should. They are informative, fun, fast and have received critical acclaim. People tell us that when they read them, they feel as if they were in the committee room. Click here to sign up.)   Several bills in The Family Foundation's bill profile were acted on recently. Here's an update:

SB 1270: Abortion Center Licensing Requirement (Support)

This legislation, introduced by Senator Jill Vogel (R-27, Winchester), would have required abortion centers to become licensed, have life-saving equipment in their facilities and submit to one yearly inspection. It was drafted to make abortion centers safer for the women who visit them. In fact, the original bill had numerous regulations, many of which pro-abortion activists claim are onerous and designed put these centers out of business. Anticipating this argument, Senator Vogel stripped down the bill to the three simple requirements listed above.

The fact is that there are several types of medical facilities that are much less invassive, such as podiatry centers; and altogether different types of facilities, such as puppy mills, that have much tougher regulations. Furthermore, all medical disciplines and specialities have oversight by peer review boards, with the notable exception of abortionists.

Finally, the pro-abortion side traditionally argues that the Board of Medicine regulates Virginia's abortion clinics. Fine. Senator Vogel presented SJ 276, which the Senate passed unanimously last year, that slams the Board of Medicine, citing a 1999 JLARC report, that discovered "the Board of Medicine  took too long to resolve cases, did not adequately protect the public from substandard practice by doctors, and did not handle medical malpractice cases adequately," among other charges. When confronted with its hypocrisy and the truth, the pro-abortion side did the only thing it could do — ignore it.

So, this bill, which seemed like a logical and bipartisan issue, failed in the Senate Education and Health Committee by a party line vote of 10-5. So much for "safe, legal and rare." Instead, in Virginia, abortion centers remain an exempted class, untouchable and protected by their overlords in the Senate. Read more about this issue here and see video of the Ed and Health hearing here.

SB 801: "Choose Life" License Plates (Support)

This legislation, from Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax), not only would have created "Choose Life" license plates, but would have sent part of the proceeds from the plates to pregnancy resource centers around Virginia. The bill was debated in the Senate Transportation Committee. Of course, the opposition denounced the plates, claiming they are political in nature and out of the purview for recognition.

Even more infuriating, a family practitioner unashamedly attacked crisis pregnancy centers in her testimony. The bill died in committee by a vote of 6-6 with Senators Harry Blevins (R-14, Chesapeake) and John Watkins (R-10, Midlothian) abstaining. Senator Blevins was in the room up until just before the vote and then walked out — leaving a "proxy" vote of "abstain" behind.

HB 2579: Informed Consent, Ultrasound Requirement (Support)

Delegate Kathy Bryon's (R-22, Lynchburg) bill would require abortionists to take an ultrasound and allow the woman to view it if she desires before having an abortion. The Family Foundation supports this bill not only because it would give women medically accurate information to aid their decision making, but also with hopes that more women would choose life after clearly seeing that life inside them. The House Courts of Justice Committee reported this bill 15-6. It now goes to the House floor.   

HB 2634: Providing Information on Fetal Pain

Another informed consent bill, patroned by Delegate Ben Cline (R-24, Amherst), would require that a woman be told that her unborn child could feel pain during the abortion process and provide her with information on anesthesia for the child. Again, the House Courts of Justice Committee passed this bill 17-5, and the House will vote on it this week. See some of the sub-committee debate here.  

HB 1624, HB 1625, HB 1726, HB 2385, SB 945, SB 1247:  Legislation on "Sexual Orientation" (Oppose)

With homosexual rights advocates feeling emboldened by recent election victories, every effort has been made this legislative season to make sure that the term "sexual orientation" finds its way into Virginia code. It has been attempted in every form from group life insurance and housing discrimination, to making sure that it becomes a protected class under Virginia's human rights laws. Any incremental step they believe they can take, they will. Thankfully, we can report that all efforts to expand the homosexual agenda have failed thus far, with the exception of SB 945 (life insurance). 

These battles are far from over and other skirmishes over other issues undoubtedly will materialize. If ever it was all to play for, this year's second half is it.

Clinics Are Where You Go To Get Well

One thing that has always frustrated me about the life debate, especially during the General Assembly, is that pro-lifers sometimes concede the semantics to the pro-abortion side. Simple case: Each year we support legislation that would license abortion "clinics" — the only type "medical" facility that escapes such basic oversight, especially considering the importance of the situations in which women who visit them find themselves. I hate using the word "clinic" in conjunction with abortion. A clinic is where you go to get well — not to kill a baby. I've tried "facility" but that does not capture the graveness of the activities that go on in these buildings. Friday, in a meeting, someone hit it spot on: "centers," as in abortion centers, because that's exactly what they are; centers carrying the connotation of "mass scale" or "large" — a place where much rote assembly line acitvity goes on.  Using it already, people have caught on — the understanding is immediate. It conveys exactly the heinous nature of what takes place in these centers of destruction.

Which leads to this Thursday in the Senate Committee on Education and Health (see members here to contact), which happens to its last meeting before crossover, and which also happens to be Planned Parenthood's lobby day. Here is the great tradition the two have worked out: Save the pro-life bills for PP's day at the GAB and kill them all to appease the committee pro-abortion majority's biggest supporters. But that also happens to be The Family Foundation's virtual lobby day, and we hope you participate by contacting your senators and delegates about defunding Planned Parenthood and supporting pro-life legislation.

So, not so coincidentally, E&H will hear SB 1270, patroned by Senator Jill Vogel (R-27, Winchester). The bill will be amended and offer three simple requirements: A yearly inspection, life-saving equipment (which our lawmakers have in the GAB) and a registration/licensure of some type with an oversight agency. Let's see how those who claim to be for "safe, legal and rare," vote and if they think abortion centers should still claim exemption from the slightest of regulations, much less than what even podiatrists are subjected to. If they find excuses for defeating this, their cover, however, thin it is now, will be completely blown — as shattered as the term abortion "clinic."

Choose Life, Virginia!

One thing you can count on in the commonwealth is that when you go to the DMV to register your vehicle there will be a multitude of options available to you as to what kind of license plate you would like to purchase. We've got every type, ranging from whether you're a "Parrothead" to which state college you root for. But there is one we don't have.  We don't have one that says, "Choose Life." It's certainly not because it hasn't been tried. Legislation actually made it through the General Assembly to support such a plate in 2003, but ultimately met it's demise through the veto pen of then-Governor Mark Warner. But not to worry, it's back! This coming legislative session, with the support of The Richmond Coalition for Life, Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Centerville) will patron SB 801. Should the bill pass and be signed into law, it will provide for a "Choose Life" revenue-generating license plate, with funds raised going to "not-for-profit agencies . . . that provide counseling and other services intended to meet the needs of expectant mothers who are committed to placing their children for adoption." Lets see if certain special interest groups and quarters within the General Assembly really mean what they say about "choice," "safe, legal and rare," and providing funding for adoption. (For a commentary, see Cogito, Ergo Blog, here.)

If you would like to assist in seeing this bill succeed, please do the following:

  1. Sign the online petition supporting the Choose Life license plate legislation (click here).
  2. The DMV requires a significant number of pre-paid customers before they will produce the Choose Life license plates. Please support this effort by printing and submitting the DMV Choose Life license plate pre-application form, found by clicking here. Please read and follow the instructions on the form carefully. If the legislation is not signed into law, your application fee will be returned.
  3. Visit www.vachoose-life.org to learn about other ways to take action.

Should you have further questions concerning this process or how you can support this effort, please don't hesitate to contact Brian Mazanec of the Fairfax Family Forum (see its commentary, here) at brianmazanec@gmail.com.

Help encourage Virginia to "Choose Life" and provide a new mechanism to generate funds for adoption providing non-profits!