abortion services

Miraculous Success: Life And Conscience Protected

It was nothing short of a miracle yesterday afternoon: The General Assembly passed Governor Bob McDonnell's pro-life amendment to HB 1900. The amendment prohibits health insurance plans that are part of federal health insurance exchanges required by Obamacare from covering abortion services except in cases of rape, incest and life of the mother. With the passage of this amendment, pro-life Virginians will no longer be required to violate their consciences and fund the unethical destruction of human life. To put it precisely, as one legislator who voted for the amendment said:

I truly believe that this amendment will save more lives than perhaps anything we've ever done.

The amendment's passage was a tale more convoluted than the typical legislative labyrynth, complete with procedural moves unfamiliar to most, dramatic back room conversations and mistakes that turned into miracles. Suffice it to say, God was at work — mightily. He alone deserves the credit for this success. We'll tell the complete and detailed insider story in a later post.

Regardless of how legislators may feel about Obamacare health insurance exchanges, the vote on this amendment was solely about the taxpayer funding of abortion. Many who voted for this amendment oppose the concept of exchanges overall. Please note when checking how your legislator voted, that a vote for this pro-life amendment cannot be considered a vote against health care freedom. Some type of exchange must be created, by law, so this was to make the best of a bad situation.

Although many deserve thanks for this important victory, we would like to specifically thank Governor McDonnell for introducing the amendment, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling for ruling the amendment germane (click links for contact information), the 20 senators and 55 delegates who voted for the amendment (click links for names), national pro-life organizations for their assistance, such as the Susan B. Anthony List, and local pro-life groups — especially the Virginia Catholic Conference, the Virginia Society for Human Life, and the Virginia Assembly of Independent Baptists — for joining us in our advocacy on this amendment at Mr. Jefferson's capitol yesterday.

Conscience and life were protected today. Please thank God first, but secondly those above who deserve our gratitude for their principled stand for life. The complete details and inside story tomorrow.

 

Support Governor McDonnell's Pro-Life Amendment!

Last week Governor Bob McDonnell handed down a pro-life amendment that The Family Foundation had been strongly urging. This amendment prohibits health insurance plans that are part of federal health insurance exchanges required by Obamacare from covering abortion services except in cases of rape, incest and life of the mother. The amendment is to HB 1900 and SB 921, bills regarding state oversight of health exchanges. Without the governor's amendment, pro-life citizens opposed to abortion will be mandated to fund this unethical destruction of human life. The amendment simply continues what has been state law for the proposed exchanges since 2011 when the General Assembly adopted a similar amendment. Because the state has chosen not to create a state exchange but instead force the federal government to do so, the amendment is necessary. Twenty states have already taken this step and more are considering it. Despite the rhetoric of the abortion industry, private insurers can continue to offer elective abortion plans outside the exchanges if they wish.

Now the General Assembly must accept Governor McDonnell's amendment at tomorrow's Reconvened Session (i.e, the "Veto Session") where it considers amendments and vetoes by the governor. While we are confident that the House of Delegates will adopt the amendment, the 20-20 Senate is questionable.

So that is really where the battle lies. Over the last several days we have mobilized citizens across Virginia to contact their legislators — especially key senators — to make sure they know the citizens of Virginia want this amendment passed.

Please contact your delegate and senator and urge them to support Governor McDonnell's amendment to HB 1900 and SB 921. If you are not sure who they are, click here to find out. Then, or if you already know who they are, click here to look up your delegate's contact information and here to look up your senator's contact information.

Then contact the following key senators and urge them to vote YES on this important amendment as well:

Senator Harry Blevins: 757-546-2435 district14@senate.virginia.gov

Senator John Watkins: 804-379-2063 district10@senate.virginia.gov

Senator Charles Colgan: 703-368-0300 district29@senate.virginia.gov

Senator Phil Puckett: 276-979-8181 district38@senate.virginia.gov

Senator Frank Wagner: 757-671-2250 district07@senate.virginia.gov

Support Governor McDonnell's Pro-Life Amendment To Health Exchange Bill

Last week, Governor Bob McDonnell added a pro-life amendment to an ObamaCare induced bill — Delegate Terry Kilgore's HB 2434, that directs the Commonwealth to set up health insurance exchanges in accordance with the new law. (Under ObamaCare, if states don't act to establish their own exchanges and rules, the federal government will do ti for them.) The governor's amendment would restrict the proposed and mandated health insurance exchanges from covering abortion services, except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at risk. Without such change to the bill, pro-life citizens will be coerced into funding the unethical destruction of human life. His amendment also would prohibit insurance companies from selling optional riders that cover those same abortion services. Typically, NARAL went ballistic (see the Washington Post VIrginia Politics Blog, a Post news article and the Richmond Times-Dispatch; we're quoted in all three), although the amendment reflects decades-old federal policy under the Hyde Amendment. Now, the General Assembly must accept the governor's amendment at next Wednesday's veto session. During this year's General Assembly session, similar health insurance abortion funding opt-out language was passed by the House of Delegates twice with overwhelming majorities, but was defeated in the Senate. The Senate voted on a procedural motion, at the end of session, to strike a bill almost identical to Governor McDonnell’s language. It succeeded on a 22-18 party line vote. Since the governor's language strictly is a policy vote, not a procedural vote, we hope to urge at least two pro-life Democrats to support the amendment.

Of course, this is nothing new. Whether it is a widely-passed bipartisan House bill or a governor's amendment, the Senate remains the body that blocks nearly every pro-life effort, and has done so for several years. Over the last several days, The Family Foundation has mobilized citizens across Virginia to contact key senators so that they know Virginians want this amendment passed. It is clear that it will not be until the Senate reflects the values of Virginia that we will see many victories. The opportunity to make those changes is quickly approaching, as all 40 Senate seats are up for election in November.

We believe the key to sustaining the amendment lies with five key senators: Fred Quayle (R-13, Suffolk), John Watkins (R-10, Midlothian), Roscoe Reynolds (D-20, Martinsville), Chuck Colgan (D-29, Manassas), and Phil Puckett (D-38, Tazewell). Contact these senators now and urge them to vote yes on Governor McDonnell's abortion funding opt-out amendment for health insurance exchanges on HB 2434.

You can contact them by calling their district offices (numbers below) or by clicking on their names for their e-mail addresses:

Senator Quayle: 757-483-9173

Senator Watkins: 804-379-2063

Senator Reynolds: 276-638-2315

Senator Colgan: 703-368-0300

Senator Puckett: 276-979-8181

Merry Christmas From Planned Parenthood!

It's the Christmas season. A time for merriment, joy, sharing and generosity, and, most importantly, celebrating a birth — the birth of the Word made flesh, the Christ child, the King of Kings. Of course, there is the other side of the Biblical story, that of King Herod murdering every boy of two years or younger. That's where Planned Parenthood comes in. This year it has reprised its sick fundraising ploy of selling gift certificate "stocking stuffers" as presents that can be used for, among other things, abortion services. It started this at least two years ago in certain localities as we reported at the time (see commentary and video). No matter how old, it is no less appalling. Now, it has taken it nationwide to, as Americans United for Lifesays, "evangelize for the unholy gospel of taxpayer-funded abortion." It calls the campaign, "Choice on Earth," a despicable twist on what people pray for this time of year — Peace on Earth. Planned Parenthood has no shame in flaunting a horrendous act in the face of a Holy time of year.

According to Dr. Charmaine Yoest of AUL (see FoxNews.com), Planned Parenthood is seeking more than just a few sales to supporters or, worse yet, unsuspecting women, to fill its coffers. It has a bigger fish in mind:

Clearly, Planned Parenthood isn't interested in peace. They are interested in only one thing: using your tax dollars to expand access to abortion services. Now, more than ever, it's time to cut off their financial lifeline.

Here are the facts: Planned Parenthood receives over $350 million of your tax dollars each year. ... Indeed, tax dollars are the lifeblood of the Planned Parenthood empire.

The one bright spot is that a new Congress takes office in about a week. It's time the federal government stops funding Planned Parenthood. The nation's largest abortion provider may claim it needs the money, but just because no one wants its sick gift certificates is no reason for Congress to take Americans' hard-earned earnings and "spread it around" to nefarious groups such as Planned Parenthood.

Cuccinelli: Virginia Has Legal Authority To Regulate Abortion Centers

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued an official advisory opinion Friday that states the Commonwealth of Virginia has the legal authority to regulate abortion centers. The opinion was in response to a formal inquiries by Senator Ralph Smith (R-22, Botetourt) and Delegate Bob Marshall (R-13, Manassas) asking the attorney general for a legal opinion as to whether Virginia has the administrative authority to regulate facilities and providers in which and who perform first trimester abortions. The answer from the attorney general is yes, provided they meet the criteria set forth in U.S. Supreme Court precedent. He cited previous Virginia regulations and the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' upholding of abortion center regulations in other states.

For years, the Senate Education and Health Committee has killed common sense legislation, passed by large bipatisan House majorities, regulating abortion centers in a manner consistent with other medical facilities. The "Committee of Death" accepts pro-abortion claims that such regulations are "unconstitutional." But in his statement accompanying the release of the opinion, Senator Smith said, "This opinion clarifies any legal questions on the issue and sets the stage for regulating abortion clinics like other medical facilities."

In other words, even if the General Assembly does not act the executive branch may, on its own initiative, regulate abortion centers just as it does other medical facilities (of course, regulations may be changed by each administration, whereas laws are more lasting). Here are some of the more salient points from the opinion (click here for entire opinion, including footnotes): 

Medical facilities that provide abortion services in addition to many other services across a variety of disciplines clearly are subject to regulation by the Board. I note, however, that although the Board classifies "abortion clinics" as outpatient hospitals, neither the Regulations nor the Code define the term. Moreover, unlike later abortions, first-trimester abortions are not required to be performed in licensed hospitals. Health centers limiting their practice to specializing in reproductive services therefore often characterize themselves as "physicians' offices," whereby they are exempted from the Board's licensure requirements. Nonetheless, the Board has broad authority to adopt regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of Title 32.1, and this regulatory authority includes defining an "abortion clinic," investigating the assertion by a facility that it constitutes physician's office, and regulating facilities beyond licensure.

Irrespective of the Board of Health's ability to regulate facilities, the Board of Medicine is vested with authority to regulate the practice of medicine, which includes providing guidelines for certain procedures and the ability to license, investigate, and discipline physicians, including those who perform abortions. The BOM's Regulations Governing the Practice of Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, Podiatry and Chiropractic sets forth, for example, requirements for the proper administration of general anesthesia in non-hospital settings, a procedure that may be necessary depending on the abortion method employed. ...

In addition to applying regulations governing medical facilities and health care providers in general, the relevant agencies are authorized to impose regulations particular to abortion services. The General Assembly has afforded certain agencies broad authority to regulate in the area of health and has permitted them to classify facilities, procedures and personnel as they deem necessary and to promulgate regulations accordingly. ... The potential complications of abortion procedures include hemorrhage, cervical laceration, uterine perforation, injury to the bowels or bladder and pulmonary complications. Furthermore, these complications "must be immediately and adequately treated." Regulatory boards may distinguish between abortion and other procedures because, "'abortion is inherently different from other medical procedures," and "for the purpose of regulation, abortion services are rationally distinct from other routine medical services if for no other reason than the particular gravitas of the moral, psychological, and familial aspects of the abortion decision."

Based on Virginia's police power to protect its citizen's health and welfare, the broad authority granted to the regulatory boards, and the extensive statutory and regulatory scheme currently applicable to physicians performing abortions and the facilities in which such services are available, I conclude that the Commonwealth, by the Virginia Board of Health, the Virginia Board of Medicine, or any other proper agency, has the authority to continue to promulgate regulations affecting the performance of first trimester abortions. ... 

Virginia previously exercised this authority, when on November 12, 1981, the Virginia Board of Health adopted "Rules and Regulations for . . . Licensure of Outpatient Hospitals, Performing Abortions Only" . ... the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit provides clear guidance with respect to what constitutes permissible regulation and what does not.

Planned Parenthood License Plate Update

Tying up a loose end: Lost in the excitement of yesterday's big victory for life was that both chambers overwhelmingly agreed with Governor Bob McDonnell's amendment on the Planned Parenthood license plate bill that prohibits any proceeds from its sale to be used for abortion services. The legislation was part of a large, omnibus specialty license plate bill including plates for many causes and institutions. The Senate concurred by a vote of 38-0; the House by a vote of 78-7.

Your Representative Or Senator Won't Have A Town Hall Meeting? Have Your Own!

Tony Perkins and company at the Family Research Council have an ingenious idea. If your U.S. representative nor either of the commonwealth's U.S. senators have a town hall meeting, host one yourself! FRC has everything you need via the links below. This ties in perfectly with the previous post on our Winning Matters campaign. Please forward this link to interested people. Read on: 

Download a Townhall Kit today and help host a Townhall Meeting on Health Care in your church or community

Help Organize a Health Care Townhall with Included Kit

August 25, 2009 | Share with Friends

In 1787, when the Constitutional Convention decided not to reform the weak Articles of Confederation but rather assemble a new constitution, they faced a tremendous challenge in gaining the support of the citizens of this young nation. The process lasted for months and included numerous public "townhall" type meetings. Many of these meetings were held in churches, moderated by prominent pastors.

Nearly two and a quarter centuries later, such involvement by churches is more urgent than perhaps ever before. Under the proposed health insurance scheme being advanced by President Obama and his allies in Congress, Americans would be compelled to:

• Pay for abortion on demand by financing insurance companies that pay for abortion services.

• Fund the leading provider of abortion in the nation, Planned Parenthood.

• Foot the bill for government panels that would foster the notion that self-termination (i.e., suicide) is a sound moral and financial option for the elderly.

• Pay for abortifacient contraceptives.

Additionally, the Obama proposal fails to protect vital conscience rights for health care providers, thereby exposing them to the threat of being required to perform abortion-related services.

We are calling on pastors and Christian leaders nationwide to hold forums in your churches where these matters can be discussed and exposed. And it's to that end that we are offering for download FRC Action's Townhall Kit — so that you can create your own townhall meeting, just as churches did more than two centuries ago, to inform and activate the people in your pews and communities.

Take a few moments to download and review the Townhall Kit. We are providing you with all the material you will need to conduct a powerful, respectful and informative event.

The Founders understood that without the churches of America, the new nation could never have been formed. Without the churches today, I would argue it cannot be sustained. Your role in this effort is critical, and thank you for all you are doing for our country and its future.

Download a Townhall Kit Today! [PDF]

Sincerely,

Tony Perkins

President

P.S. Please forward this email to at least one friend.

Tea Parties Continued: Make Your Voice Heard On Government Takeover Of Your Health Care!

Tomorrow at High Noon, the Tea Party movement in Virginia continues into another phase as people from all walks of life and all political persuasions will gather at the offices of Virginia's two U.S. senators to let them know socialized medicine, nationalized health care or whatever one wants to call it, is not acceptable. The monstrosity under consideration in Washington will destroy the world's greatest health care system through diminished quality, rationed services, exploding government debt, government bureaucrats picking who gets treated for what and when, and an increase in abortion services. It is nothing less than a complete government takeover of health care, which accounts for one-sixth of the U.S. economy. Since this is July, the month when the revolutionary ideals of American freedom from oppressive government were so eloquently and dramatically expressed, it is an appropriate a time to rekindle those ideals and let our senators know in very adamant terms that we want to remain true to our Founders' vision.

We won't be alone in Virginia. Americans in every state will visit senators'  district offices in a coordinated effort to demand that they protect our health care  freedoms to choose our doctors and to keep the government out of our health decisions.

If you are not able to make it, please take the time to call, e-mail or fax Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner so your voice is still heard. You may mail them by simply addressing envelopes with their names and the following: United States Senate, Washington, D.C. 20510; or you may call the capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for their offices. To e-mail the senators, click on their names below. Also see below for district office locations and contact information.

Senator Jim Webb's District Offices (click to e-mail him)

Southside 308 Craghead Street Suite 102A Danville, VA 24541 Phone: 434-792-0976 Fax: 434-972-0960

Hampton Roads 222 Central Park Ave. Suite 120 Virginia Beach, VA 23462 Phone: 757-518-1674 Fax: 757-518-1679

Northern Virginia 1501 Lee Highway Suite 130 Arlington, VA 22209 Phone:703-807-0581 Fax:703-807-5198

Southwest 756 Park Avenue, N.W. Norton, VA 24273 Mail to: 756 Park Avenue, N.W. P.O. Box 1300 Norton, VA 24273 Phone: 276-679-4925 Fax: 276-679-4929

Central Virginia 507 East Franklin Street Richmond, VA 23219 Phone: 804-771-2221 Fax: 804-771-8313

Roanoke Valley 3140 Chaparral Drive Building C, Suite 101 Roanoke, VA 24018 Phone: 540-772-4236 Fax: 540-772-6870

Senator Mark Warner's District Offices (click to e-mail him)

Southwest  180 West Main Street Abingdon, VA 24210 Phone Number: 276-628-8158 Fax Number: 276-628-1036

Hampton Roads 101 W. Main Street Suite 4900 Norfolk, VA 23510 Phone Number: 757-441-3079 Fax Number: 757-441-6250

Central Virginia 5309 Commonwealth Centre Parkway Suite 401 Midlothian, VA 23112 Phone Number: 804-739-0247 Fax Number: 804-739-3478

Roanoke Valley 129B Salem Avenue, SW Roanoke, VA 24011 Phone Number: 540-857-2676 Fax Number: 540-857-2800

Just In Time For Christmas: Give The Gift Of Death!

That's right! Come one, come all, to Planned Parenthood of Indiana, step right up and get that gift for that special something for that special someone who has everything! Just in time for the "holiday" season — that most novel of gifts — the Planned Parenthood Gift Certificate! (See LifeNews.com article, here.) Sound as bad as a carnival barker trying to sucker you into seeing the bearded lady? It is. But, sadly, this is real — and pretty sick: Planned Parenthood of Indiana is selling gift certificates for the Christmas gift-giving season. (See an editorial from The Washington Times).

The so-called not for profit organization which makes millions of dollars selling its abortion services as the nation's leading abortionists, which takes millions more in your state and federal tax money, now is in the gift certificate business.

For years the Christmas season has been hijacked and demeaned by commercialization and materialism; and a constant campaign to secularize the holiday (i.e. "holy day," per the word's origin) to strip any religious significance from it and our country's Christian heritage. This, however, is a low that flaunts Planned Parenthood's flagrant contempt for innocent life and Christianity itself. WorldNetDaily calls Planned Parenthood, "this generation's King Herod" (read here). Nothing says celebrate the birth of our Lord better than Get your discounted abortion here!

Even more crass is the organization's outright disingenuousness: Its spokeswoman says financial aid toward abortions isn't the purpose of the sale. Why, she says, even men can use them for prostate cancer check-ups. (Perfect for the newly unemployed!) Still . . . "We decided not to put restrictions" on their use, she said. Translation: They can be used for anything, but by the way, for your abortion convenience . . . . Know a woman you thing should abort her child? Buy a Planned Parenthood gift certificate. It makes the perfect gift!

Not only that, but the reporter at the conclusion of the video below reports that Planned Parenthood flat out hopes people buy them, then return them so the certificates can be applied to those "who need reproductive healthcare but can't pay for it."

Beyond poor taste even for Planned Parenthood, that translation is easy enough to discern: Buy an abortion for Christmas and give the gift of death.