abortion industry

Hundreds Of Reasons Abortion Centers Are Unsafe

The following opinion column by Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb appeared in the June 1 edition of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. More about unsafe abortion centers in Virginia, click here to read about TFF's call for the closing of one particularly nefarious abortion center in Virginia Beach, and here for the transcript of Victoria's statement at a news conference yesterday in Virginia Beach. The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot has more about yesterday's news conference, here.

Hundreds Of Reasons Abortion Centers Are Unsafe

When Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced a review of Virginia’s abortion center health and safety standards, he said, "I am concerned that the . . . regulations adopted last year jeopardize the ability of most women's health centers to keep their doors open and place in jeopardy the health and reproductive rights of Virginia women."

Note what was missing: He wasn’t concerned with the actual health of women, just their "rights" and the "ability of" abortion centers to stay open. In the three years since the General Assembly passed a law requiring abortion centers in Virginia to meet minimal health and safety standards, public health inspectors have uncovered more than 300 reasons why it is concern for the health of women, and not well-being of the $1 billion abortion industry, that begs to keep the standards in place. Included in those 300 reasons:

♦ At the A Capital Women's Clinic in Richmond, among dozens of citations, the facility didn’t "change the [sterilizing] solution in the sink every time dirty instruments are brought in (instructions for [sterilizing] say to change solution every time)" and "the sponge used to clean instruments is only changed once per week."

 At the Richmond Medical Center for Women, "Staff re-used sponges for cleaning blood and body fluid spills post procedures."

 At the Roanoke Medical Center for Women, "observation revealed one of the vacutainer needle holders had visible dark red splatter within the hub, which attached to the needle to draw the patient’s blood." There was also dried blood splatter on patient tables and patient room walls.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. The abortion industry tries to distract by criticizing the requirement that abortion centers have wide enough doorways and hallways for emergency responders to meet the needs of patients in dangerous situations, but it never mentions bloody and unsterilized medical equipment, untrained staff, violations of state law and federal drug policies, and lack of policies for the reporting of possible cases of child sexual abuse that are rampant in their abortion centers.

The abortion industry continues to pronounce itself safe, but official inspection reports are indisputable evidence that its idea of safe is far different than any reasonable person could claim.

Perhaps more frightening, many of the inspections were pre-announced, meaning operators of these facilities had time to prepare for inspections and believed their facilities were clean and safe. What other medical practice sees blood-splattered equipment as safe?

Some industry representatives claim they support regulations but that Virginia’s standards "go too far." In fact, for several years they adamantly opposed legislation before the Virginia General Assembly that would have required only licensing, inspections and emergency equipment. The discovery of widespread violations of health and safety in the inspections the industry fought so hard to stop reveals that it has no credibility when it comes to which regulations are necessary and which are not. An industry that has covered up for two decades the kinds of problems found in the inspection reports does not deserve to be taken seriously when it comes to how it should be regulated.

Despite the hysterical claims of some, nothing in the health and safety standards forces an abortion center to stop providing other health care services should they refuse to meet the standards for performing abortions. Such rhetoric exposes the reality that they are in the business of abortion and not health care. Clearly, they have not been in the business of clean facilities and trained staff.

McAuliffe’s decision to ask for a review of abortion center standards is a political act motivated by $2 million of hush money the abortion industry poured into his election. The women of Virginia deserve better than to be pawns in his political aspirations.

Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation, speaks at a news conference on June 3, 2014. The group is calling for the closure of the clinic behind Cobb, Virginia Women's Wellness, in Virginia Beach. <span class='credit'>(L. Todd Spencer | The Virginian-Pilot)</span>

Victoria Cobb briefs the media at a news conference yesterday outside a Steven Brigham abortion center in Virginia Beach. (Photo, courtesy Norfolk Virginian-Pilot.)

The Abortion Quiz: How Well Did You Score?

Our friends from OnlineForLife.org developed this insightful quiz about abortion. It's worth a few moments of your time to see just how much you know about women seeking abortions and the abortion industry. It may shock you. Then consider  spreading this blog post link around to as many people as possible — especially those who are ambivalent to the life issue.

How many lights have been extinguished by abortion?

Click on the image or follow this link to take the OnlineForLife.org Abortion Quiz.

OnlineForLife.org also has produced several videos, many of them poignant. Please view these two short ones.

Media Ignores "Tolerant" Democrat Congressional Candidate's Hateful Twitter Attack On TFF

Democrat Congressional candidate Mike Dickinson today went off the rails and attacked us and TFF President Victoria Cobb via Twitter. There was no rhyme or reason. He didn't cite any specific bill or policy we're working on at this year's General Assembly, only a trite, false, hateful, demonizing, inflammatory attack — and not even a good one. The incoherent rant is full of punctuation mistakes. In the first one (the second one below) he omitted the apostrophe in "Virginias" but included one in "it's" when he meant "its." He could've used the saved character for a period at the sentence. But perhaps most offensive is that Dickenson, who's is in the strip club business — nothing spells out respect for women more than exploiting them as strippers — calls Victoria a "grand wizard." Again, if you're going to insult someone, do it right: titles before names are capitalized. Besides, what's he insinuating by using the masculine form of the word? Shouldn't it be "Wizardess"?

GrandWizard

Seriously, though, isn't a man of, and on, the Left, supposed to be tolerant? Then what's with the attack? Not even his audience was amused. Of the 10 people who replied to his two tweets, at least eight chastised the 7th district candidate for his hateful tirades against people who simply disagree with him. More than that, this "tolerant" liberal proposes to use the force of the federal government, if elected to Congress, to restrict the free speech rights of people with whom he disagrees by arbitrarily designating them as "haters." He also went on unrestrained tirades against the NRA and Fox News.

But we just report. You decide:

According to the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, in a recent campaign speech, Dickinson said that Democrats "don't judge," that the party is "open," and added . . .

judging people by outdated stereotypes is exactly what Democrats are supposed to be against.

Nothing like a good bit of hypocrisy and double-standard to go with your foot-in-mouth. The same article noted that 7th district Democrats were ready to vote for "no candidate" rather than nominate Dickinson if no one else entered the race. That speaks volumes.

Another question: Where's the media? It went bonkers on the orders of — excuse me, a "news release" by — Planned Parenthood over a pro-life politician's Facebook posting, which did nothing but sarcastically use a term for pregnant women the abortion industry frequently uses.  The lack of understanding of irony is beyond belief — Planned Parenthood was making a point it doesn't even agree with, i.e., that pregnant women are mothers, yet the media tried to excoriate the lawmaker.

Now, we have a left wing politician using social media to attack a woman and we issued a press release. But no phone calls, no interviews. "War On Women" anyone? Here's the news release:

Democrat Candidate Attacks Family Foundation on Twitter

- Organization Demands Democrat Leaders Distance Themselves from Statement -

RICHMOND – The Family Foundation of Virginia today called on Democrat leaders Mark Warner, Tim Kaine and Terry McAuliffe to distance themselves from inflammatory statements by Mike Dickinson, a Democrat running for Congress against Representative Eric Cantor.

"As the Democratic party continues to seek to silence any opinion in America that they oppose through the IRS, bullying the news media and threatening free speech, we now have yet another Democrat candidate for office who clearly has not read the First Amendment of the Constitution or has no intention of applying it to all Americans," said Victoria Cobb, President of The Family Foundation of Virginia. "Regardless of one’s position on controversial issues, the idea of candidates for office threatening American citizens with the awesome power of the federal government for simply exercising their fundamental constitutional rights to speak out on controversial issues is chilling. We call on Virginia Democrat leaders like Tim Kaine, Mark Warner and Terry McAuliffe to distance themselves from this candidate and his inflammatory, hateful rhetoric."

A lot has been made by Democrats this session, from the governor on down, of the "Virginia Way." We're wondering if this is what they mean. Meanwhile, we'll wait for their statements — and their explanation of "tolerance" — as well as the media's coverage of it all.

At 12 Weeks Babies Have . . .

I met a woman during last fall's campaign who, upon overhearing me and a self-styled libertarian friend of mine talking about abortion, interjected with the trite, "It's better to have legal abortion than have to pay taxes to care for all of the babies whose mothers can't provide for them." Sure — and with that logic, why not kill anyone who lives in poverty? We're paying taxes to support them, too, are we not? Where do you draw the line? Another woman once told me she didn't approve of abortion, but thought it should be legal during the first trimester. What, I asked her, is significantly different about an unborn baby at two months and 29 days than at three months? Isn't that an arbitrary time frame conceived by seven men (of all people) who decided to overturn abortion bans in Roe v. Wade? She admitted she had to rethink her position.

That made sense to her (another self-styled libertarian). But neither logic nor science matter to the Left. It subsists on shallow talking points that are designed to make them feel smart and which, once they ride them to the limited depth of their capacity, resort to name calling, raw emotion, fear and straw men. Thus, the contrived "War On Women," which really is a War On Babies.

They try to depict Christians as uneducated rubes who deny science, yet they fight with all vigor to prohibit ultrasound tests; they clamor for "choice" but deny women the opportunity to make an informed decision. Which brings me to the latest controversy, which should shed light on the bankruptcy of the abortion industry's arguments.

Planned Parenthood and NARAL both jumped down the throat of a pro-life politician who sarcastically referred to pregnant women with a term they use. They said his language was degrading and said mothers should be treated with respect — making a point they don't even agree with which, most telling, admitted what they always deny:

That pregnant women are mothers!

Brilliant! Thank you abortion industry! Maybe it will learn logic soon enough.

Photo: Every child deserves a chance to sing! LIKE and SHARE!

End the silencing of not only their voices, but their lives. (H/T National Pro-Life Alliance.)

Manufactured Abortion Outrage

You have probably heard by now that state Senator Steve Martin has found himself in a bit of a brouhaha over a comment he made on Facebook over the weekend. And while the fact that a Facebook comment merits news coverage at all is an indictment on Western civilization in and of itself, the manufactured hysterical reaction of the abortion industry to sarcasm — yes, sarcasm — is simply fascinating. Our friends at Bearing Drift have a couple of takes on "MartinGate" here and here. Both are good reads. It is interesting that the abortion industry recognizes someone who is pregnant is a "mother," the definition of "mother" implying parenthood, which, of course, requires the existence of a child. As in the unborn child.

But I'm more interested in the fact that the abortion and gay rights obsessed Richmond Times Dispatch jumped all over the abortion industry's press release and ran with it. Apparently, an abortion industry press release about a sarcastic Facebook post earns a story in that once proud newspaper.  But over the past three years, not a single story can be found in the Richmond Times Dispatch that examines the abortion centers in Richmond that had multiple health and safety violations — all of which was shared with the RT-D through numerous press releases. You know, the unsanitary conditions, the lack of safety policies, the ownership of one Richmond center by someone who has had abortion centers shut down by health officials in other states. Nope, not a word in the old RT-D.

It's a shame. There are some good reporters at the RT-D, people who work hard and do their jobs well. But I really have to wonder why they (or is it the editors?) are so animated by the abortion industry being "offended" by a Facebook comment, and so uninterested in women being put in danger by abortion centers in their own city.

Can't Wait For The 2013 Statistics . . .

Below is an image provided by The Human Rights and Scientific Honesty Initiative at the University of Virginia that cites dramatic a drop in abortions in Virginia since the adoption of the ultrasound law — which is probably why Senator Mamie Locke (D-2, Hampton) asked the Senate to do this a couple of weeks ago, so that Virginia's abortion centers could resume operating in secrecy and mischief. Even more encouraging is that while the drop from 2011 to 2012 is significant and encouraging, the law was only in effect for half the that year. It means the 2013 statistics should be even better and more encouraging. Of course, the abortion industry will point to other factors, but there were no new variables in play during the time in question, and none of the pro-abortion side's tried-and-failed "solutions" to prevent pregnancies would have such an immediate affect.  The drop from 2010 to 2011 was good, but nothing like the subsequent differential. We can't wait to see what the 2013 statistics show.

Abortion stats since ultrasound

 Coincidence? Probably not. The numbers tell the story and that's why the pro-abortion side hates the ultrasound law.

Governor McAuliffe Has Kept One Promise: He's NOT Reading The Bills!

As we've previously noted, and other media as well, Governor Terry McAuliffe hasn't rushed out to stake a claim on too many issues — unless it's to support the abortion industry or promote Medicaid expansion. Today, though, out of the blue (or, gray, as dark tornado-warning clouds enveloped Richmond), he spoke — kinda. His spokesman did. Of all things and of all bills, the spokesman said that the governor will veto SB 236 — a "prayer bill" — which passed the Senate early in session and now is in the House of Delegates, if it  reaches his desk. The bill's patron is Senator Charles Carrico (R-40, Galax).

There's a problem. The man who infamously said during the campaign that he wouldn't read bills because he would hire people to do it for him (see Washington Post), apparently hasn't read this bill or doesn't want to — because it's not a prayer bill! It's a freedom of speech bill. But according to the Post today, the governor has his sights set on the "Prayer Bill."

We don't know why. We hope he takes a break long enough from his 60 parties in 60 days to actually read the bill. Then he might find it's not offensive at all — as if prayer is offensive — and that he would be doing a good thing by strengthening students' rights of freedom of speech, expression and association on campus.

T-Mac drinking

Read more, party less. Sign the students' rights bill.

Senate Committee Kills Tebow Bill; House Fights For Life, Rule Of Law

On the same day a bold headline in the Richmond Times-Dispatch announced that the Virginia High School League had created a policy to allow "transgendered" students to play high school sports, the Senate Education and Health Committee killed legislation that would allow home school children access to those same sports — with the VHSL leading the opposition to the bill. VHSL, a pseudo-private organization that controls public high school sports in Virginia long has opposed equality for home school students. Hiding behind its own policies and definitions of "student enrollment" and "academic standards," it fights to keep students who legally home school and whose families pay taxes to support public schools from having an opportunity to try out for teams. It consistently implies that the academic record of home school students can't be trusted and that allowing them to participate would be "unfair" to public school students. The education establishment, from the VEA to the PTA to the School Boards Association, the Superintendents Association and more, fell into their annual lockstep of opposition with the VHSL in opposing the bill.

Testimony from several home school kids was poignant and compelling. Many talked about their participation in sports with their friends up to high school, where they are then blocked from continuing to play by an organization that is accountable to no one but itself.

Commonly called the "Tebow Bill," after Heisman Award winning quarterback Tim Tebow, who benefited from a similar law in Florida (and which 29 states have), HB 63 failed on a party line vote of 9-6. We are grateful to Delegate Rob Bell (R-58, Albermarle) for his impassioned advocacy for his bill and for the home school community. We have no doubt that as public support for this policy of fairness continues to grow (see VCU poll), Delegate Bell and home school athletes across Virginia will see success!

Also yesterday, the House of Delegates adopted budget amendments introduced by Delegate Todd Gilbert (R-15, Shenandoah) to both the current state budget and the next state budget that prohibits the attorney general from using taxpayer funds in his challenge to the state constitution. We thank all of you who contacted your Delegate since last night! Delegates have definitely heard your voice.

The House also rejected attempts by Democrats to strip the budget of several pro-life amendments, including prohibiting Medicaid funds for abortion, defunding Planned Parenthood, and prevent any governor's efforts to undermine abortion center health and safety standards. Pro-abortion advocates, as usual, used misleading arguments in trying to defeat the amendments.

Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn (D-41, Springfield) alleged that the current abortion center safety standards have led to clinics closing, leaving "thousands of women" without access to "health care," such as cancer screenings. The problems with that argument are numerous. For example, one of the two that did so (NOVA Women's Healthcare in Fairfax), closed because of lease and financial issues, not because of the safety standards (see LifeSiteNews.com). If the $1 billion abortion industry really cared about women's health, it would spend some of its cash improving health and safety instead of $2 million getting its pick for governor elected.

But the misrepresentation by liberals didn't stop there. Topping the deception was Delegate Scott Surovell (D-44, Mount Vernon), who introduced a budget amendment that would have undermined conscience clause protections for faith-based child placement agencies, a law passed into law two years ago. He made the outrageous claim that the law allows faith-based adoption organizations to discriminate based on race! First, that is illegal under federal and state law to discriminate based on race and second, it is appalling to imply that faith-based organizations like those that serve families and orphans across Virginia are racist. It was an utterly insulting claim that should sicken every thinking Virginian.

Thankfully, the House didn't listen to Delegate Surovell (it usually doesn't) and overwhelmingly rejected his discriminatory amendment.

 

Correcting The Left's Vocabulary: It's Really A War On Babies

The so-called "War On Women," as most contrivances from the Left, is more aversion to the truth than reality. That is to say, when it finds itself losing an issue among the public, it resorts to straw men, fallacy, fantasy, demonization and redefinition. As the great Walter Williams would say, let's look at. First, what war? Are women being killed, beaten or even imprisoned? To call a policy difference a war disrespects all those who wear the uniform, many of whom are women. Straw men, fallacy and demonization: Check.

Second, it degrades the very people they say they represent (as if all women think the same way): Fallacy: Double check; fantasy, check.

Third, and most important, it redefines the issue. Just as the Left has redefined the 6,000-year-old meaning of marriage, it has redefined war. War, of course, implies death. Yet, who dies during an abortion? The baby! Redefinition: Checkmate!

Surely, a bit of a woman's soul dies as well, as women who have come to regret their abortions universally testify. That is undeniable, but a different story, and one the abortion industry won't ever tell or address. Ignore rather than redefine. Ignore: add to the list.

How about irony? This really comes under fallacy, but let's be charitable. One statement you hear at pro-abortion rallies or during testimony at General Assembly committees is that "we need to follow the science," implying that conservatives are rubes who don't understand or believe in scientific evidence. Huh? Then why exactly is the Left against ultrasound bills? Oh . . . wait . . . oh! It's because the science proves that it is a living baby! Irony: Game, set and match.

Speaking of science, here's the truth about who this war is being waged on. To them — the unborn babies, some 16 million in the U.S. alone since the deplorable early 1970s Roe v Wade decision — there really is death and destruction, and the truth is spoken by a doctor of all people, someone who knows science:

BenCarson War On Babies

 

The real war is on babies. #WarOnBabies!

 

"Close The Window, Pull Down The Shade"

Earlier today, the Virginia Senate voted to pass SB 617, a bill to repeal the 2012 ultrasound update to the abortion informed consent law. The version of the story you'll probably hear is simply that the bill passed on a 20-20 vote with Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam breaking the tie in favor of the bill. What really happened though involves multiple votes, a win and then a loss and then another loss, procedural gymnastics, mistakes and tears. But worst of all, the silencing of one senator's conscience by the strong arm of his caucus. Let me back up though and tell you the whole story. Even before SB 617 passed out of the Senate Education and Health Committee on Thursday, The Family Foundation met with lawmakers, lining up votes in favor of life and against SB 617. As today approached, we were cautiously optimistic that we had the necessary votes to defeat SB 617.

When the bill came up on the floor of the Senate, Senator Mamie Locke (D-2, Hampton) urged senators to vote on the side of John Stewart and Rachel Maddow and repeal this "shameful" law. Senator Locke quoted Family Foundation testimony given in committee stating that an ultrasound is a powerful "window into the womb" and referencing that testimony, she urged the Senate to "close the window, pull down the shade."

In other words: Do not, under any circumstance, show a woman a picture of the life she is carrying. Make no mistake — despite the opponent's rhetoric to the contrary — this bill is about hiding critical information from women.

After much debate, the vote was called and the bill failed, 18-22. The vote was party-line with the exception of Senator John Watkins (R-10, Powhatan) who voted in favor of the repeal and Senators Chuck Colgan (D-29, Manassas), Phil Puckett (D-38, Tazewell) and Toddy Puller (D-36, Mount Vernon) who voted against the repeal. This vote line up struck us as odd because Senator Puller has never (in our recollection) voted pro-life. Sure enough, a few minutes later, she made a motion to reconsider the vote by which SB 617 failed to pass (this is a fairly common procedure when someone accidentally votes the wrong way). The bill's passage was reconsidered and the vote sudenly was 20-20 (Senators Colgan and Puller switched) and  Lieutenant Governor Northam broke the tie in favor of the repeal.

Senator Colgan confirmed with media (see Norfolk Virginian-Pilot) and pro-life lobbyists alike that his vote switch was entirely accidental. He even filed a "yellow slip" in which the official record reflects that he intended to vote no (but that cannot change the outcome of a vote).

Because of Senate Rule 48a, a bill can only be reconsidered once. Therefore, Senator Colgan's mistake would stand unless unanimous consent to temporarily suspend the rule was given by the entire chamber to allow Senator Colgan to change his vote. Proving his sincerity, a very emotional Senator Colgan petitioned his Democrat caucus colleagues to give him unanimous consent to vote his conscience and right his incorrect vote. Senator Watkins, who was on the prevailing side, as required, made the motion to reconsider the vote, but it failed 37-1. The sacrificial lamb for the caucus, Senator Locke, voted no. Clearly, among Senate Democrat leaders, orthodoxy to the abortion industry took precedent over the conscience of even one of their own members. Senator Colgan was not allowed to vote his conscience.

But Senate Republicans were determined to allow Senator Colgan his voice. The next bill up for debate was a bill dear to the hearts of the Democrat caucus — a bill to increase the minimum wage. However, the bill needed unanimous consent for it to be moved to "third read" and properly before the Senate for a vote on final passage (a common procedure). Senate Minority Leader Tommy Norment (R-3, Williamsburg) took to the floor to make the point that he could vote against the motion requiring unanimous consent and thus defeat the bill singlehandedly. Senator Norment impressed upon the Democratic caucus the inappropriateness of their stifling the conscience of Senator Colgan and reminded them that if the Republican caucus wanted to retaliate, that they had the perfect opportunity by singlehandedly defeating the minimum wage bill. Taking the high road, Senator Norment made his point and then encouraged the Republican caucus to be statesmen and not vote in a retaliatory fashion. However, the point was clear — the Democratic caucus had played dirty today and their shameful actions would not be ignored.

SB 617 will probably be heard next in the House Courts of Justice Committee where it will likely meet its demise (the same fate as a similar House bill, HB 1056). Senate Democrats are already claiming the "win" on the ultrasound repeal bill's Senate passage, conveniently ignoring that there were more members of the Senate today who opposed the ultrasound bill than supported it. It was only by mistake that it passed. Words cannot express the emotional roller coaster of today and the extreme disappointment felt when Senator Colgan was not allowed to vote his conscience. Please thank the 19 Republican Senators, Senator Puckett, and yes, Senator Colgan, for their principled stand for life.

On a positive note, SB 618, a bill to force taxpayers to subsidize abortions in Virginia's federally-mandated health exchange, failed to pass the Senate on a vote of 18-22 (Senators Colgan and Puckett joined the Senate Republican caucus to defeat the bill).

Senator Colgan Dissed By Fellow Dems On Abortion Vote

On a 22-18 bipartisan vote today, the Senate of Virginia defeated a bill that would have removed language protecting taxpayers from funding abortion from Virginia's law regarding Obamacare. The bill, SB 618, was patroned by Senator Mamie Locke (D-2, Hampton). At the same time, the Senate passed SB 617, also patroned by Senator Locke, a bill that would repeal the sonogram requirement in Virginia's Informed Consent Law, on a 21-20 vote, with Lt. Governor Ralph Northam casting the tie-breaking vote. Tie votes aren't always that straightforward and this was anything but, with a controversy that may have ramifications well beyond even this session, ripping at the already stressed traditional Senate collegiality due to the unprecedented mid-session power shift. What followed left experienced General Assembly watchers saying they thought they "had seen everything until today."

After lengthy debate the bill initially went down to defeat 22-18, with Republican John Watkins (R-10, Powhatan) voting with the pro-abortion side, while the pro-life side picked up three Democrats: Senators Charles Colgan and Phillip Puckett (D-29, Tazewell), both generally pro-life, as well as, surprisingly, Toddy Puller (D-36, Mount Vernon) — a reliable pro-abortion vote. 

The Puller vote shocked everyone and, accordingly, observers expected a motion for a reconsideration vote — a procedure that allows someone from the prevailing side to ask for another vote, done as a courtesy for someone who accidentally voted the opposite of his or her intention. It can only be done once per bill unless the chamber gives unanimous consent to suspend the rule. After a few more bills were voted on, Senator Puller made the motion. A one vote flip would preserve the defeat of the bill, so no one expected the vote board to flash what, in fact, shockingly became a 20-20 tie. 

As it turned out, Senator Colgan (D-29, Manassas) the senior member of the chamber, and its President Pro Tempore, accounted for the second flipped vote when he accidentally voted "yes," even though Republican Leader Tommy Norment (R-3, Williamsburg) briefly rose prior to the vote to remind senators which bill they were reconsidering. Before long the Senate was in recess with each side plotting its floor tactics. Senator Watkins, being on the prevailing side now, made a motion for the suspension of the rules in order for Senator Colgan — who, by all accounts, was visibly distressed by his mistake and asked for another chance — to vote his conscious.

The vote to suspend the rules was 37-1, with Senator Locke providing the solitary vote necessary to prevent the third vote which would have sunk her bill for good. But make no mistake: The entire pro-abortion Democrat bloc was against the motion, allowing Senator Locke, as the bill's patron, to take the hit in order for the other pro-abortion Democrats to affect the appearance of bipartisanship.

Senator Norment took the floor again. Some anticipated that he would take advantage of Senate rules to kill remaining Democrat bills on the calendar. That is, as today was "Crossover Day" (when all bills originating in the Senate and House must be dealt with by those respective chambers) bills that had not been on the floor for three days needed unanimous consent to get their final up and down votes, or automatically die. He told Democrats that was not the GOP plan, but reminded them in no uncertain terms of the unprecedented nature of their actions. Some took that as an implied threat. We shall see what, if anything, GOP senators have in mind. Some suggested that he should have used that leverage to get a new vote.

TFF President Victoria Cobb issued this statement:

The evidence continues to mount showing that liberals in Richmond are interested only in power and bludgeoning even their own members to deny their consciences. Make no mistake — there were more members of the Virginia Senate today that opposed both abortion bills than supported them. It was only by mistake that one passed. Clearly, among Senate Democrat leaders, orthodoxy to the abortion industry takes precedent over the consciences even of their own members.

SB 617 would remove Virginia's requirement that a woman receive an ultrasound and be offered the opportunity to view it prior to an abortion. SB 618 would have removed the "opt-out" language allowed by Obamacare that protects taxpayers from subsidizing abortion in Virginia's federal health care exchange.

 

 

GA Update: This Week's Abortion Votes

Yesterday morning, the Senate Education and Health Committee, on a party line 9-5 vote (with 1 abstention) reported SB 617 to the Senate floor, a bill that would repeal the ultrasound update to the informed consent law that conservatives fought hard to pass in 2012. The bill's patrons are Senators Mame Locke (D-2, Hampton) and Donald McEachin (D-9, Henrico). The full Senate will vote on the ultrasound repeal bill Tuesday. Virginia's ultrasound law allows women the opportunity to see their unborn child prior to making an irreversible, life-altering decision. While ultrasounds were already standard protocol prior to the 2012 legislation, abortion doctors were not showing the picture to their patients. This window into the womb is powerful and no matter the choice of a woman, it allows her a more informed decision and reduces regret. The ultrasound law is about requiring the abortion doctor simply to turn the screen.

Additionally, ultrasounds are medically necessary prior to an abortion. An ultrasound determines not only gestational age, but gestational position (whether the pregnancy is uterine or ectopic), viability, if a woman is actually pregnant (it's not unheard of for an abortion to be performed on a non-pregnant woman), and if there are multiples. All of these factors are critical information for the doctor to have when the abortion is performed if the safety of the woman is a priority.

However, we know that all too often, unfortunately, the safety of the woman is not the first priority of abortion doctors. An owner of two abortion centers in Virginia was found not even to have medical-malpractice insurance despite swearing otherwise under oath (see The New Yorker). Virginia Department of Health inspection reports reveal that the Roanoke Medical Center for Women performed abortions on multiple minors without parental notification or consent, in violation of Virginia law. There are countless other violations we could cite, but suffice it to say the abortion industry has proven that a woman's safety is not its priority. That is precisely why ultrasounds must be required — for a woman's safety because we cannot rely on the abortion industry to take precautions.

The Education and Health Committee also voted to report SB 618 yesterday on another party line vote (9-6). The bill, patroned by Senator Locke, would reinstate abortion funding in Virginia's federally mandated healthcare exchange. It would force taxpayers to subsidize abortions against their conscience. It will be up for final passage in the Senate on Tuesday as well.

The Virginia Senate is not the only chamber taking abortion votes. On Wednesday, the House of Delegates voted on several important measures, as well. The Courts of Justice Constitutional Law Sub-Committee voted to defeat three different attempts to repeal or water down the ultrasound law (HB 546, HB 547 and HB 1056), and a measure that would redefine birth control to include "emergency contraception" or the morning after pill (HB565,). The bills' patrons all were Democrat women: Delegates Eileen Filler-Corn, Jeion Ward and Vivian Watts.

The subcommittee also tabled by voice vote HB 98, patroned by Delegate Bob Marshall (R-13, Manassas), a bill that would have criminalized sex-selective abortion. The committee cited various enforcement issues that they were unable to easily fix (i.e., is it fair to criminalize the doctor for the discriminatory thoughts of the mother? How do you prove the baby was aborted for sex-selective reasons?), but seemed to resonate with the concept behind the bill.

The battle for the sanctity of life is fierce in Richmond. Please be in prayer over these Senate bills. Pray that pro-life senators are courageous in their stand for life despite political pressure to the contrary. Your prayers are of great value and are much appreciated.

Hundreds Attend Virginia Stands For Life Rally, Send Huge Message To General Assembly! #VAStands4Life14

Hundreds of pro-life Virginians traveled across the commonwealth and braved cold temperatures to send the General Assembly a clear message: Virginians oppose the abhorrence of abortion and expect lawmakers to uphold the sanctity of life (see Richmond Times-Dispatch). Keynote speaker Lila Rose vividly illustrated that message and the particularly heinous nature of abortion from her unique perspective as founder of Live Action, a new media pro-life investigative organization that goes undercover to expose the abortion industry's corruption and abuse. Ms. Rose founded Live Action at age 15 and has had Planned Parenthood on the run ever since. Later, she spoke to dozens of pastors at a Pastors For Family Values luncheon.

Joining her in speaking to the attendees were emcee Olivia Gans Turner of American Victims of Abortion; Susan Null, executive director of the Harrisonburg Pregnancy Center;  and Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb. The Reverend Bob Collins, founding pastor of World Outreach Worship Center, prayed the invocation. Afterward, attendees visited their delegates and senators to encourage them to support pro-life legislation, maintain the gains made the last three years, and oppose actions that would make abortion more available.

Hundreds of pro-life Virginians turned out today at Mr. Jefferson's capitol to support the sanctity of human Life. (Photo courtesy Richmond Times-Dispatch.)

Here is the official statement of the 14 partner organizations, including The Family Foundation, that hosted the 2014 Virginia Stands for Life Gathering (#VAStands4Life14):

This morning hundreds of pro-life Virginians came together to stand united in support of the sanctity of human life and to remind elected officials and the public that the pro-life movement in Virginia is thriving. The women and men at the event celebrated the 16 percent drop in Virginia's abortion rate over the past three years (a 22 percent drop among Virginia women), while hoping to encourage Virginia's elected officials to remain steadfast in their support of protective pro-life laws and legislation.

Several national and state pro-life organizations united together for today’s rally, bringing their supporters to Richmond to encourage reasonable and protective measures that seek to protect the lives of unborn children, the elderly and those with disabilities. With a new incoming administration, the organizers of today's peaceful event encouraged our elected officials to stand strong in the face of attempts to erode the significant recent pro-life gains that protect innocent unborn life and women.

All of the organizations and their constituents who were represented in this rally are committed to continuing to defend and advance the cause of unborn life, access to adoption, and the protection of human life. We will continue to voice the truth about the value of human life. As more Americans become pro-life every day, we are optimistic about the future for the unborn and the vulnerable in America and Virginia.   

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The Fab Four. Virginia's leading pro-life women, from left: Virginia Podboy of the Virginia Catholic Conference; Lila Rose of Live Action; TFF's Victoria Cobb; and Olivia Gans Turner of National Right To Life's American Victims of Abortion.

Join #VAStands4Life14 Tweet Fest!

Today is the first day of the 2014 Virginia General Assembly session and our 2nd Annual Prayer Walk and Virginia Stands for Life Gathering. We are excited that hundreds of pro-life Virginians will gather at Capitol Square to pray and stand for the unborn. If you aren't able to come to Richmond today, you can still participate. We are working with more than a dozen state and national groups to conduct our first ever Pro-life Tweetfest. Simply send out each of the following tweets on the hour and the half hour throughout the day. As more people participate, our message is amplified and the twitter universe will be abuzz with the message of hope, healing and life. Also, follow us on Twitter throughout the day as we will be posting additional live tweets as events unfold. Please send this to your pro-life friends to expand our presence on Twitter even more.

To make things easy, if you don't already, please follow us on Twitter (click for our Twitter page) and simply retweet our tweets throughout the day. Our Twitter handle is @TFFVA.

Here are the Twitter "Feed Phrases" to tweet throughout the day today, with the hashtag #VAStands4Life14:

In 2012, 22,916 Virginia babies lost their lives to abortion #VAStands4Life14

Abortion hurts babies, mommies, and daddies #VAStands4Life14

Abortion center standards are common sense #industrycan'tselfregulate #VAStands4Life14

VA abortion clinics cited 4 violating informed consent. #VAStands4Life14

Fetal remains on freezer, bloody instruments, expired medications #can'tselfregulate #VAStands4Life14

Ultrasound requirement in informed consent means more info, less regret # VAStands4Life14

Abortion center standards need to be enforced to prevent #Gosnell incident in VA. #VAStands4Life14 #don'twanttobePAinVA

Pro-Life means fighting for unborn babies, mommies, daddies, and vulnerable #VAStands4Life14

Abortion down 16% in VA in 4 years, pro-life policies save lives #VAStands4Life14

Abortion hurts Virginia #VAStands4Life14 #prolife

VA pro-life laws save lives #VAStands4Life14

Abortion stops a beating heart #VAStands4Life14

A voice must be given to the voiceless #VAStands4Life14

Virginians of conscience have come to Richmond to stand for live #VAStands4Life14

I will continue to fight to protect the right to #life of the most vulnerable among us #VAStands4Life14

In 40 years after Roe v Wade more than 50 million unborn children have been denied the right to life #VAStands4Life14

Abortion center standards protect mothers' health #industrycan'tselfregulate #VAStands4Life14

Adoption not abortion #VAStands4Life14

Virginia Pregnancy Resource Centers are life-affirming #VAStands4Life14

I stand with thousands of Virginians at the VA State Capitol #VAStands4Life14

When Does A Heartbeat Mean You Are NOT Living?

It's not a joke or a trick question. It's not a complicated medical diagnosis, either. Quite simply, it's an unborn baby. At least that's what the abortion industry and its sundry apologists in government, the courts, media, entertainment and the like would have us believe. Consider the paradox so simply, yet eloquently, depicted and phrased in the image below from our friends at Right Wing News: If you are pronounced dead when you're heart ceases to beat, why are you not considered alive when it commences beating? Why should one's location matter? If a person is trapped in a wrecked car, for example, and is severely injured, yet has a heartbeat, that person is alive. Every effort is made to maintain that person's life until he or she can be reached, taken to the hospital and completely treated.

Why should a baby, who's heart is beating, not be afforded the same rights because it is being sheltered in its natural developmental state — it's mother's womb? One might say the pro-abortion crowd could be given a nod for some level of consistency in that it thinks one is human only when it is living on its own, outside the womb — except that so many of them believe that late-term abortion and "post-birth abortion" should be legal.

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Out of the mouths of babes . . . Who can dispute this logic (except the ardent, hard core abortion apologist)? 

So, It's A Little Chilly Outside. But Lila Rose Will Fire You Up (For Life)!

Don't forget that this Wednesday, January 8, is our 2nd Annual Prayer Walk and Virginia Stands for Life Gathering at the State Capitol. It looks like the weather will be good — sunny and around 41 degrees — and only a 10 percent chance of rain. So put on your warm clothes, some comfortable shoes and join us as we pray and proclaim the value of life, from conception until natural death. Making the event especially worth your attendance is our keynote speaker, Lila Rose. The founder of LiveAction.org, and one of America's most dynamic pro-life leaders, will make her first public appearance in Virginia at the Virginia Stands for Life Gathering. Since age 15, when she founded Live Action, she has dedicated herself to building a culture of life and ending abortion — and has had the abortion industry on the run ever since.

Through its undercover investigations, videos, films and social media expertise exposing corruption and illegal activity at Planned Parenthood — such as concealing statutory rape in order to perform abortions on teenagers — Lila Rose and Live Action has changed the perception of the abortion industry to an entirely new generation, helping shift large percentages of young people into the pro-life camp. Even more established institutions, such as the mainstream media can no longer ignore the inglorious activities of the abortion industry, such as the Kermit Gosnell trial.

Before Live Action, Planned Parenthood was viewed as a non-profit "women's health care provider." Now, it is viewed more and more as a mega-profit-making, taxpayer-subsidized, abortion-as-first-option-at-any-cost behemoth. LiveAction.org's undercover videos, which document abortion providers as they truly conduct their practices, merit headlines on major media outlets and Lila Rose is a frequent guest on news programs, such as The O'Reilly Factor.

We believe her boldness, passion for life, and her willingness — even as a teenager — to take on such a powerful industry, will inspire and encourage you to stand for truth in a culture that is losing its way. We guarantee that no matter how cold it may get outside Wednesday, Lila Rose and our program will fire you up . . . for Life!

Lila Rose

Pro-life heroine Lila Rose, the 2014 Virginia Stands For Life Gathering keynote speaker.

Here is the schedule for the Virginia Stands for Life Gathering (#VAStands4Life14):

9:00 a.m.:  2nd Annual Prayer Walk, starting at both the Greater Richmond Convention Center (Room B15a) and inside the State Capitol Building (House Room 1). Select the location that best suits your parking preference (here is a link to directions and a parking map).

10:00 a.m.: Virginia Stands for Life Gathering starts. Join with hundreds of pro-life Virginians as we declare our stand for life to the legislators in the General Assembly as well as to the principalities and powers that St. Paul refers to in Ephesians 6. After the gathering, visit your legislators' offices and leave a provided pre-printed card encouraging them to support life from conception to natural death. Please consider staying after that and visiting either the Senate or House as they open their sessions at noon. We will have a delegate and senator recognize visitors in the gallery who are here for Virginia Stands for Life Day. We would like to have a good contingent in each chamber to stand during this recognition time.

To register for this important time at our State Capitol, click here.

If you are a pastor, click here instead to register for our Pastors for Family Values complimentary luncheon at the conclusion of the Gathering. If you are not a pastor, but think he would be interested, please forward this link to him.

Live Action's Lila Rose Will Be Keynote Speaker At Virginia Stands For Life Rally!

We are proud to confirm that Lila Rose, the founder of Live Action, and perhaps the most influential person in the national debate on abortion, will be the keynote speaker at the Virginia Stands For Life Rally on January 8 in Capitol Square. You will not want to miss this event and this most dynamic, intelligent, creative and articulate defender of life and exposer of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry. From the age of 15, when she founded Live Action, Ms. Rose has dedicated herself to building a culture of life and ending abortion. By the time she was an undergraduate at UCLA (which wasn't that long ago), it became one of the country's most effective non-profit organizations — a groundbreaking, investigative organization through the use of the then new technologies of digital and social media (see CNN feature). Live Action's game changing techniques forced the mainstream media to report abortion industry abuses that it previously ignored and that began changing the public's view on abortion and Planned Parenthood.

She has led Live Action's numerous undercover investigations, which have exposed corruption and illegal activity at Planned Parenthood. Her work has documented rampant sexual abuse cover up, medical misinformation, racism, willingness to assist sex traffickers, and false statements by Planned Parenthood executives. Live Action videos make national headlines and have generated millions of views online. She is a frequent guest on The O'Reilly Factor, The Glenn Beck Show, The Laura Ingraham Show and many other news and talk programs on radio, television and the Internet.

Lila Rose

Pro-life dynamo: Live Action's Lila Rose.

Between the abortion industry mobilizing in opposition to pro-life bills and its spending nearly $2 million against pro-life candidates this past election, many elected officials fear even to mention their pro-life positions. Last January, however, they got the clear message that life matters when nearly 1,000 people showed up on the first day of session to pray and stand for women and their unborn children at the first ever Virginia Stands For Life Rally. They also visited those elected officials' General Assembly offices! It sent a powerful message to members of the General Assembly and media.

The opportunity to do that again occurs when the General Assembly convenes on January 8. Our goal is to have 1,500 people from across Virginia come to Richmond that morning in Capitol Square and be a voice for those who have no voice. Watch the following video and click here for event specifics and to register to be in RIchmond on January 8:

Combat the War On The Unborn. Virginia's politicians need to know Virginia is pro-life!

Virginia Abortion Center Operator Lied To New Jersey Officials, More Evidence That Abortion Industry Lacks Credibility

The Family Foundation of Virginia today released this statement concerning the New Jersey investigation of abortion provider Steven Brigham, who operates abortion centers in Virginia:

Prosecutors in New Jersey have alleged that Dr. Steven Brigham, who operates two abortion centers in Virginia, lied to officials about having malpractice insurance during a hearing concerning his medical license. Brigham operates abortion centers in Fairfax and Virginia Beach and has been the subject of multiple license suspensions and a murder investigation.

Family Foundation of Virginia President Victoria Cobb said:

It is beyond belief that this man is allowed to continue to operate in the Commonwealth of Virginia when he is clearly someone who cares nothing about the well-being of his patients. Brigham may not do the abortions himself in Virginia, but he obviously operates his facilities with no regard for public health; all this while the abortion industry continues to claim that abortion center health and safety standards are unnecessary.

In New Jersey, Brigham claimed to have current malpractice insurance during a hearing three years ago, but when asked recently to produce evidence verifying the insurance, he gave fraudulent documentation for an insurance company that no longer operates and whose operator went to jail for money laundering and insurance fraud.

According to media reports:

The allegations are the latest twist in Brigham's 20-year, multistate history of trouble with regulators, the IRS, landlords, creditors, and law enforcement agencies. In the last few years, sanctions against him have forced his abortion business, American Women's Services, to shut down in Maryland and Pennsylvania. It still has clinics in New Jersey, Virginia and Florida.

During an initial inspection of Brigham's Tidewater abortion center, employees refused to state who owned the facility, instead saying repeatedly that is was owned by a "corporation."

Brigham isn't the only abortion center operator in Virginia who has faced scrutiny in other states. Diane Derzis, who operates the A Capital Women's Health Clinic in Richmond, has had facilities closed in other states because of horrific health and safety conditions.

Asked Cobb:

The question is, what kind of malpractice insurance does Brigham's abortion centers operate with in Virginia, and have public health inspectors verified the validity of the insurance? We have been told over and over again by the abortion industry that their facilities are safe, well run and not in need of state oversight, but case after case of owners like Steven Brigham and hundreds of safety violations is evidence enough that the industry cannot be trusted.

"This Is What We're Trying To Expose And End"

The image below and this note is from our friends LiveAction.org:

This is the reality that we are trying to expose and end.

Please consider sharing this graphic to raise awareness of what abortion actually does to small humans. Education is the key to changing hearts and minds.

While the abortion industry, its lobby, its activists and apologist politicians perversely try to sanitize abortion as "women's health" or "choice" or "contraception" or, worse still, opposition to abortion as some type of "war on women" when the only casualties are the injured and maimed women and the dead women and children from abortions — first-trimester, late-term and botched — is Orwellian beyond what the great man himself could've imagined.

While we strive for new laws and more enlightened court decisions, they will not come until the culture changes. That will happen only as more people learn the truth and accept the challenge to create a culture of life. As macabre as it may sound, we have more and more opportunities to spread the truth in the digital age because the pro-abortion side — the culture of death — can't help itself. By nature, evil is an in-your-face force. It will be its own undoing. The question is how long will that take? The more we engage the public with material like this, the sooner that glorious day will come.

Photo: This is the reality that we are trying to expose and end.</p><br /><br /><br />
<p>Please consider sharing this graphic to raise awareness of what abortion actually does to small humans. Education is the key to changing hearts and minds.

Living by their own words kills the unborn. But here you have it. Far from being considered extreme, abortion on demand is taken for granted as mainstream among the Left.

Facts About Planned Parenthood, Part 1: The Financial Cost

From our friends at Susan B. Anthony List, here is the first of four graphics detailing the truth about Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry. The enormity of its enterprise and income is startling.
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Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry would have the public believe it's in the not-for-profit sector and deserves taxpayer funding through state and federal contracts for "women's healthcare services" governments don't offer. But it rakes in hundreds of millions of dollars aborting unborn children. Doesn't sound healthy for women — and certainly not the children.