pro-abortion activists

Tomorrow Is Your Chance To Stand Up To Virginia's $1 Billion Abortion Industry!

When does David get to face off against Goliath on equal terms? In our democratic process. Tomorrow, at the Virginia Board of Health meeting. That's when volunteer, pro-life grassroots activists will have their chance to express their support for abortion center safety standards in the face of Virginia's $1 billion abortion industry, which is mobilizing college students and protestors to flood the meeting in hopes of intimidating the Board into watering down the proposed health and safety standards.

Of course, Planned Parenthood and NARAL are counting on your silence. If there's any doubt as to what their ultimate, ghastly aims are, please see this video of a Planned Parenthood lobbyist.

Please do all you can to join us Friday and show that we are the voice of Virginia. We must show the Board of Health that we are pro-life and we are the majority! This could be a seminal day in the pro-life movement in Virginia.

By voting to adopt the standards tomorrow, the Board will ensure that Virginia's abortion centers will be required to meet basic health and safety standards and will no longer be protected by a veil of secrecy. Showing up and voicing your support of these new standards is extremely important in the fight for life as it is crucial the Board see and hear from pro-life Virginians when deciding on final passage of the regulations.

Please plan to join us tomorrow and forward this link to your pro-life friends and share it on your social media sites. Plan to arrive at the Perimeter Center (9960 Mayland Drive, Richmond, 23233) at 7:00 a.m. (earlier if possible) to prevent pro-abortion activists from filling the room and silencing your voice. Seating is very limited, so not everyone will be able to get into the meeting, which is why it's important to arrive early. We encourage you to bring a handmade sign showing your support for life. The public comment period will be in the morning, so if you want to speak in support of the regulations, please prepare a two-minute testimony (you cannot testify if you are not in the room, so you have to be there early to get in line). A final vote will likely take place after lunch, and the meeting is scheduled to adjourn at 3:00.

For a list of answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Board meeting, click here. Please contact The Family Foundation if you have additional questions (804-343-0010 or vafamily@familyfoundation.org).

The regulations, passed by the Board this past September, would promote safer conditions in Virginia abortion centers, resulting in a higher level of respect and dignity for the women who make the unfortunate choice to get an abortion. Since the announced inspections of Virginia's 20 abortion centers, more than 100 health violations have been discovered. Some of these include:

» Blood-stained tables and equipment

» Unsterilized equipment

» Untrained staff members

» Crucial parts missing from emergency life-saving equipment

You can read more about the grisly findings here.

Voicing your support of these new standards is imperative. Please join us at the Board of Health meeting in Richmond tomorrow. Do not let NARAL and Planned Parenthood speak for Virginians in your silence. Make it known that Virginia is a pro-life state!

Of course, if you cannot attend the meeting, please take time today and tomorrow to pray for the meeting, the outcome, the Board members and for the safety and protection of pro-life activists in attendance.

No More Excuses!

Throughout the last several weeks on this blog we've asked you to come to Richmond this upcoming Wednesday, January 9, for the Virginia Stands for Life Prayer Walk and Gathering. If you have RSVP'd that you will attend, thank you! We are thrilled that you will join us. If you have pushed aside making a decision — as yet another event bombarding you after the hectic holiday season — we urge you to reconsider. Be willing to inconvenience yourself for just one day in order to stand up for those who cannot stand for themselves. Our legislators desperately need to hear Virginia proclaim the sanctity of human life. We have already heard that pro-abortion activists plan to rally weekly at the capitol. Don't let them be your voice in your silence.

Remember, this year we are not holding our normal Day at the Capitol or "Lobby Day" as it is commonly called. This is it! This is your chance to make contact with your legislators and show them Virginia is a pro-life state.

Still not convinced? Here are the answers for some possible excuses to not attend:

Excuse 1: It’s too cold.

Actually, January 9's weather is predicted to be 52 degrees and sunny. Not bad for January in Virginia!

Excuse 2: I've been to my fair share of pro-life rallies. This won't be any different?

The point of this event is to show legislators and elected officials that we are pro-life and that we are the majority. The Virginia pro-life movement took a beating last year from late night comedy show hosts and the liberal media. This year, we need to generate a sizeable crowd that legislators and the media cannot ignore. The pro-life movement must return strong and reinvigorated! The success of our pro-life message depends on it.

Excuse 3: I haven't registered.

No problem. The event is free and registration is as simple as clicking here! Don't wait any longer. Register to let us know you are coming!

Excuse 4: I might not know anyone.

Invite a friend. Visit the event's web page for information and forward the link to a friend, and share it on your social media sites. That'll turn up the interest by your friends.

Excuse 5: I don't want to stand all day long.

For those who cannot participate in the Prayer Walk or stand for a long time due to physical limitations, we have reserved House Room 3 in the Capitol from 9:00-10:00 a.m. where you can go to wait for the start of the gathering at 10:00. Enter the Capitol at the Bank Street entrance (at the bottom of the hill) and it is the first room on your right.

Excuse 6: Richmond is too far. I don’t want to drive in at the break of dawn.

We have reserved a block of rooms for Tuesday, January 8 at the Holiday Inn Express, 201 East Cary Street. They are only $89 per night. There is a combination of king and double rooms. The hotel will provide shuttle service to the Bell Tower (eight blocks) for the gathering and to the Greater Richmond Convention Center (six blocks) for those attending the Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast and/or the Prayer Walk. To reserve a room at this special rate, call the hotel directly at 804-788-1600 and tell them you are booking with The Family Foundation. Check out time is 11:00 a.m., but there is a room to hold your bags and you can leave your car there past checkout (parking is $10.00 in addition to the room charge), so you won't have to pay for parking twice. This is also the cheapest parking you will find in Richmond that day.

Excuse 7: I don’t know where to park.

For those coming to the Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast and/or the Prayer Walk, the best parking will be at the Convention Center itself. You enter its lot on 3rd Street. If you are only coming to the Gathering at the Bell Tower, there is limited parking at the SunTrust Building. You enter that lot off of Cary Street between 9th and 10th Streets. We have posted a map of parking lots on our website, although during session some of these are monthly parking only. Click here and scroll to the third page to view the map. You should plan to arrive early to ensure plenty of time to find a parking place, especially those coming for the Gathering only at 10:00 a.m.

That's it. Not much to it. Just click, register and attend. Then feel free to look up your legislators afterward. We look forward to seeing you in Richmond at this most important pro-life event!

Board Of Health To Vote On Abortion Center Safety Standards Week From Today, Please Plan To Attend

Pro-abortion defenders are demanding that members of the Virginia Board of Health, who might actually have "religious and personal" views on the topic of human life, recuse themselves from voting at next Friday's crucial Board of Health meeting. So please plan to join us Friday at the Board of Health meeting in Richmond. Pro-life Virginians must attend and show that we are the voice of Virginia. The efforts to silence pro-life Virginians is just another example of the radical, secular Left's desperate and relentless attack on religious freedom and our rights as citizens to make decisions according to our faith. Their distorted and fraudulent understanding of America's First Freedom, our right to exercise our faith in the public square, is simply antithetical to all that they are trying to accomplish.

In fact, our own state constitution’s Statute for Religious Freedom makes it clear that we are free to hold religious views and those views cannot "diminish" or affect civil capacities, such as serving on a citizen board, saying:

. . . but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain their opinions in matters of religion, and the same shall in nowise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.

At June's Board of Health meeting, where radical protesters from MoveOn.org and "Occupy Richmond" turned out in droves, perhaps the most fascinating and oft-repeated testimony by the pro-abortion activists was that the health and safety standards for abortion centers amounted to a "violation of the separation of church and state." Somehow anyone who actually believes that the abortion industry should meet some basic health and safety standards can only do so if they are somehow motivated by their faith, and that if they are, somehow they do not have the same citizenship rights to influence the political process as any other American. The tone of many of the opponents was often very disrespectful and angry, and certainly not "tolerant" of opposing viewpoints.

Unfortunately, some members of the board appeared to be swayed by the arguments of the protestors and voted to water down the proposed safety standards. But the standards are back before the board because Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli refused to approve its decision to change the standards because it is his obligation, under Virginia law, to ensure that they meet all the requirements of the Code of Virginia.

Now, one militant group calling itself "Cooch Watch" is inciting student activist groups around Richmond to attack board members who might actually believe in protecting human life. We anticipate hundreds of college students led by these left-wing groups to protest at the Board of Health meeting next Friday in hopes that they will intimidate the board. They are mobilizing, and have even booked hotel rooms near the board meeting.

We must show the Board of Health that we are pro-life and we are the majority.

Please plan to join us next Friday, September 14. Please forward this link to your pro-life friends and share it on your social media sites. Plan to arrive at the Perimeter Center (9960 Mayland Drive, Richmond, 23233) at 7:30 a.m. to prevent pro-abortion activists from filling the room and silencing your voice. Seating is very limited, so not everyone will be able to get into the meeting. That's why its so important to arrive early. We encourage you to bring a handmade sign showing your support for life. The meeting is scheduled to adjourn at 3:00, so depending on when the vote is held, this may become a day-long event. Please contact us if you have additional questions (804-343-0010 or vafamily@familyfoundation.org).

We must make our voice heard before the radical, secular Left succeeds in silencing the voice of religious Americans!

Stand For Life At The Board Of Health Meeting

On Friday, September 14, the Virginia State Board of Health will reconvene in Richmond to vote once again on the proposed permanent abortion center safety standards to replace the current interim regulations. Will you clear your calendar to be present and invite your pro-life friends to this crucial meeting? The implications of non-mobilization are drastic. Can I be so bold as to ask that if you have prior plans to reschedule them so that you can be in attendance? We need to mobilize hundreds of pro-life Virginians at this meeting to show the Board of Health, the media, elected officials, and the electorate that we are pro-life, we are passionate, and we are the majority. Once the Board of Health adopts the regulations Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli again will review them for "certification," ensuring that they line up with constitutional and Virginia Code requirements. You may remember the craziness that ensued at the June Board meeting and the changes the Board made to the regulations, for which they have no authority. That action necessitated this additional meeting.

Pro-abortion activists see this as their final shot at preventing commonsense safety standards from being implemented at abortion centers and they are doing everything they can to derail the regulations. One pro-abortion organization has even gone so far as to call for the recusal of one of the Board members, stating that "his religious and personal views should not affect the women of Virginia and their access to healthcare." This is the pro-abortion movement's unabashed attempt to silence those who dare exercise their faith in the public square.

Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and other pro-abortion groups have told their members to show up at the Board of Health meeting at 7:30 a.m. in order to guarantee themselves a seat in the "seating-is-limited" board room and to block pro-life attendees from equal participation. Pro-abortion activists are hoping for a repeat of the last board meeting at which their angry outbursts, hissing and booing disrupted the meeting (see picture below) and temporarily prevented the abortion center safety regulations from passing. We will not let this happen again!

We must show the Board of Health that we are pro-life and we are the majority. Please, add Friday, September 14 to your calendar and forward this e-mail to your pro-life friends. Plan to arrive at the Perimeter Center (9960 Mayland Drive, Richmond, Va., 23233) at 7:30 a.m. to prevent pro-abortion activists from filling the room and silencing your voice. We encourage you to bring a handmade sign showing your support for life. The meeting is scheduled to adjourn at 3:00 p.m., so depending on when the vote is held, this may become a day-long event. Please contact us if you have additional questions (804-343-0010 or vafamily@familyfoundation.org).

Thank you in advance for your attendance and for your willingness to stand in support of life. Together, we look forward to the coming day when Virginia will have permanent health and safety standards for the abortion industry for the first time in more than two decades. We are confident that those regulations will be the strongest possible.

Roanoke Times Op-Ed: Myths About Abortion Center Regulation

Today, the Roanoke Times published an op-ed by Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb that addresses the myths pro-abortion activists and some in the media have propagated about the abortion center regulation bill recently passed by the General Assembly. Herewith, an excerpt of the op-ed. The entire column can be read by clicking here.

First, the myth that abortion centers will now have to meet the same regulatory standards as general hospitals is simply untrue. Abortion centers will not necessarily be subject to the licensing requirements or the construction standards of general hospitals.

In Virginia, there are numerous categories of "hospitals," including general (or inpatient), psychiatric, rehabilitation, outpatient surgical and others. Outpatient surgical centers, for example, are a category of hospital, but are not subject to the same regulations as general hospitals.

Similarly, abortion centers will now be subject to regulations specifically tailored to that procedure.

Second, the myth that regulations are automatically unconstitutional is inaccurate. In fact, the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, in which Virginia resides, upheld South Carolina abortion center regulations in Greenville Women's Clinic v. Bryant.

Regulations there include licensing requirements, staffing rules, specific drug and equipment availability, safety and emergency policies and sanitation procedures, none of which are currently applied to Virginia's abortion centers.

Third, the myth that the new law will limit abortion access is fallacious. Until 1984, Virginia did regulate abortion centers and, based on the increasing number of abortions at that time, the industry did not suffer.

In addition, considering that Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest private provider of abortion and owner of several Virginia abortion centers, is a $1 billion organization that profited almost $100 million in its last annual report, one would think it could prioritize women's health and spend some of that money on safety and less on political activity.

Finally, the myth that abortion centers are currently regulated is misleading. Abortion centers in Virginia are viewed by the state as physician's offices, which is essentially meaningless in that the state does not inspect or license those offices.

The only standard of care in Virginia requires that abortions done in the first trimester be performed by a licensed physician, but the facilities themselves are not required to meet standards. Currently, doctors' offices in Virginia, and thus abortion centers, do not meet any state-imposed standards of cleanliness, inspections or requirements for life-saving equipment on premises.

Abortion center safety has received increased attention recently due to two unrelated events: a botched abortion originating with New Jersey-based Dr. Steven Brigham and a horror shop abortion center in Philadelphia.

Pro-abortion advocates look at these examples and say, "Tell us of something in Virginia and then maybe we'll listen." The fact is that Brigham, who lost his license because he started late-term abortions at his New Jersey clinics and then drove the patients to Maryland to complete them, owns two abortion centers in Virginia and has no Virginia medical license. (He also is not licensed in Maryland.)

Additionally, Brigham's two Virginia abortion center websites, until exposed by The Family Foundation last month, offered the following surgical abortion procedure: "Surgical abortion patients who are between 14 and 24 weeks pregnant will be referred to our Cheverly [Md.] location after their first appointment for the completion of their procedure."

Virginia News Stand: November 11, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations "Stylistic" Election Coverage

The Communications Department didn't come up with much from conventional news sources today, but I dug around and found, in of all places, in-depth election coverage and post mortems from Richmond's too-old-to-be-hip-anymore weekly freebie, Style Weekly, which now delves into the business of the serious. It's done a decent job, too. Of particular interest are the hat-tips to Republicans by Democrat guru-strategist Paul Goldman and the whining of Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, Equality Virginia's lobbyist. University of Richmond Professor Daniel Palazzolo harangues Governor Tim Kaine and Scott Bass gets about half of it right. It's funny when liberals try to manipulate conservative mandates by telling us what they want the results to mean is fact, and then fratricidally turn on themselves (a sure sign that their interpretation of the results is a disingenuous attempt to water down the victory).

Elsewhere, Republican Ron Villanueva was declared the winner in the closest House of Delegates race, but it's only one step toward resolution, and will go on still longer, for sure. Attorney General Bill Mims is doing what all former attorneys general do (especially those who fill out a term of an elected one), and that is sign on with a big bucks power law law firm, while Senator Edd Houck (D-17, Spottsylvania) makes the news for the second day on the trot, describing a dour picture of state funding to localities. Nationally, the Washington Post reports that pro-abortion activists are trying to muzzle the free speech rights of pro-life clinics and information centers.

News:

Misaligned: How Virginia Democrats overestimated the power of Obama and underestimated the importance of independent voters. (Style Weekly)

Villanueva declared winner in 21st District race (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Houck paints dire budget picture to city and Spotsy (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

Attorney General to join Hunton and Williams (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Kaine Takes a Hike (Style Weekly)

National News:

Disclaimer proposed for anti-abortion clinics (Washington Post)

Analysis:

McDonnell, Picture Perfect (Paul Goldman/Style Weekly)

Presumptive Politics (Paul Goldman/Style Weekly)

McDonnell's Power Surge (Scott Bass/Style Weekly)

Democratic Downers (Margaret Edds/Style Weekly)

Commentary:

Shilling For Bob (Claire Guthrie Gastañaga/Style Weekly)

Losing Legacy (Daniel Palazzolo/Style Weekly)

Editorial Comics:

"For Whom the Bell Tolls" (Glenn Foden/Townhall.com)

"A Year Later . . ." (Scott Stantis/Townhall.com)

comic 4comic 3

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.