pro-life Virginians

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

This Friday Is Deadline To Submit Abortion Center Comments To Board Of Health!

The deadline for online comments on the proposed Board of Health safety standards for abortion centers is this Friday, March 29, at 11:59 p.m. We encourage you to to do your part, if you have not already, to make your voice heard to the Board of Health to ensure the abortion center safety standards are made permanent. If you haven't already, please submit your comments before the online public forum closes. If you have, please share and forward this link to as many pro-life friends as possible through e-mail or your social media sites.

Click here to visit the Virginia Board of Health's Online Townhall. It is easy and take little time to submit your comments.

Our friends at the Virginia Catholic Conference have more information here, including bullet points on the issue and a sample letter. 

It only takes a few minutes to compose and submit comments online. For those who could not make it to the public forums in Richmond and Alexandria earlier this month, this is the ideal method for making your voice heard. A few minutes of your time can make a difference in a generational switch in policy to benefit the unborn and the safety of women who make the unfortunate choice of having an abortion. The other side is mobilized and submitting comments. It is essential that pro-life Virginians make their voices heard as well in this convenient, yet very effective way.

After filing your comments, please consider attending the Board of Health meeting in Richmond on Friday, April 12, where it will vote on whether to adopt the current abortion center safety standards permanently. Pro-life Virginians must demonstrate strength in numbers, both online and in person. The meeting will be at the Virginia Department of Health 2nd Floor Conference Center, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond. It will begin at 9:00 a.m. Due to limited space inside the meeting room, those who wish to attend are highly encouraged to arrive by 7:00.

The safety standards, which improve upon the emergency temporary standards that have been in place for more than a year, will continue to protect Virginia women who use abortion centers. Health inspections of these facilities, a feature of the current  temporary standards, have uncovered hundreds of violations since they  have been in place — demonstrating that the commonwealth's abortion industry cannot self-regulate itself. Permanent standards will ensure abortion centers' accountability for deficiencies.

If you plan to attend the Board of Health meeting, please e-mail Roger Pogge at roger@familyfoundation.org or call (804) 343-oo10.

Planned Parenthood Targets Ken Cuccinelli

A Politico article today revealed that Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest and richest abortion business, is coordinating with Democrat gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe to target Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said in the article that

Cuccinelli's ongoing attacks on women's health and economic security should be a warning to us all: women's health will be on the Virginia ballot in 2013.

A website created by the coordinated campaign targets the Attorney General's positions on abortion, forced taxpayer subsidizing of contraception, abortion-causing drugs and President Obama's taxpayer-funded health insurance scheme. According to Politico, the website includes "a disclaimer at the bottom of the site [that] says it was authorized by the campaign of Terry McAuliffe."

Of course, it should come as no surprise that Planned Parenthood would coordinate with a liberal Democrat campaign. Its political entities have spent tens of millions of dollars on partisan activities while whining consistently that it doesn't have enough money to bring its abortion centers up to basic health and safety standards. It is, however, committed to forcing you, the taxpayer, to fund its operations to the tune of more than half a billion dollars annually!

I guess it's all about priorities.

The partisan political activity of Planned Parenthood and its targeting of Virginia should come as no surprise. But it should serve as a reminder of just how important this year's elections in Virginia are going to be. Because only Virginia has a potentially competitive statewide race, national interest groups are going to spend millions of dollars to influence the outcome.

It's also notice to pro-life Virginians that we have to communicate with everyone that we know the truth about the Attorney General's record, the truth about the fact that Virginia's abortion centers are the real threat to women's health and, speaking of threats to women, that the current federal administration's debt-ridden agenda is a horrendous threat to women's "economic security."

We are not going to have the resources of a billion dollar industry such as Planned Parenthood and we certainly aren't going to be able to rely on the "mainstream" media. But we will have the truth.

Pro-Life Motorcycle Ride, Phone Banks Tomorrow

Several motorcycle groups from around Virginia will ride in Richmond to celebrate unborn life tomorrow, beginning at noon at the Richmond Outreach Center, then traveling through Capitol Square. These groups, who will come from across Virginia, want to express their support for unborn life in a unique way — by riding their motorcycles through Richmond and Capitol Square. Last Friday, hundreds of pro-life Virginians attended the Virginia Board of Health meeting in support of important health and safety standards for Virginia’s abortion centers. Now, tomorrow, more pro-lifers again will show Virginia that we are the majority!

The bikers will form at the Richmond Outreach Center at 5501 Midlothian Turnpike in Richmond beginning at 10:30 a.m. There will be a brief program beginning at noon, with speakers Kim Warburton of the Pregnancy Resource Center of Metro Richmond; Michael Hirsch, pastor of Calvary Christian Church in Fredericksburg; and myself. The bikes will then ride from the ROC to downtown Richmond, down Bank Street in front of the state Capitol, and then around Capitol Square.

If you are in the area and have time to come out to the ROC or wave at the bikers as they ride by the Capitol, please come out and join us!

Help Identify Conservative Voters!

Also tomorrow, The Family Foundation Action will join in a concerted, nation-wide effort to call undecided voters and to remind them that with gas prices approaching $4 per gallon, unemployment over 8 percent and the national debt at $16 trillion, we need a change in the economic policy of the nation. If you live in the N.Va., Richmond, Harrisonburg or Tidewater area, please join us at one of the phone banks listed below. We will have food, good fellowship, prizes and lots of fun.

Fairfax County: Javier Road, Suite 110, Merrifield, 22031, 12:00 - 5:00 p.m. (or later if anyone wants to stay). Contact Ed Newland at 515-505-5383.

Loudoun County: 44084 Riverside Parkway, Suite 350, Lansdowne, 20176-6823, 12:00 - 5:00 p.m. Contact William Zimmerman at 703-568-4092.

Prince William County: 17323 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Suite L-1, Dumfries, 22026. Contact: Bill Pfister for times at 515-505-5209.

James City County: 7770 Croaker Road, Williamsburg, 23188 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. Contact: Tim Pogge at 515-505-5224.

York County: 4521 George Washington Memorial Highway, Yorktown, 23692, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Contact: Tim Pogge at 515-505-5224.

Harrisonburg: Blessings Christian Bookstore, 313 Neff Avenue, Harrisonburg, 22801 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Contact: Greg Culbertson at 505-515-5280

Richmond: 10:00 - 12:00 noon, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m., various locations. Contact: Ron Gallagher for locations at 804-591-5909.

 

Paid for by The Family Foundation Action.

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!

Historic Pro-Life Vote To Take Place On Senate Floor This Week!

For years pro-life Virginians have tried to convince the General Assembly that abortion centers need to be regulated for the sake of the safety of the women who unfortunately decide to end their pregnancies. The fact that the Virginia Senate, in particular, has refused to let regulation bills out of committee has proven that they aren't serious about the so-called "safe, legal and rare" policy. However today, on the House floor, Delegate Kathy Byron (R-22, Lynchburg) was successful in amending SB 924, a bill that requires the Board of Health to promulgate regulations containing minimum standards for certain medical facilities, to include abortion centers! A pro-abortion delegate challenged the germaneness of the amendment, but after consulting with his parliamentarian, House Speaker Bill Howell (R-28, Stafford) ruled that the inclusion of abortion centers was germane because it was in the class of medical facilities enumerated in the bill and did not change the definition of the bill. After a brief debate, the amendment passed 63-34, then the bill itself passed 67-32

Because it is a Senate bill amended by the House, the full Senate must vote on it again in the next day or two! Finally, we will have a historic vote on regulating abortion centers in Virginia! Please contact your senator immediately and urge him or her to vote for the amended version of SB 924!   

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 Dr. Brigham, who lost his license because he started late term abortions at his New Jersey centers and then transferred patients to Maryland to complete them, owns two abortion centers in Virginia and has no Virginia medical license. (He is not licensed in Maryland, either.)

Additionally, Dr. Brigham's two Virginia abortion center Web sites offer 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.

Abortions after 13 weeks in Virginia must be done in a hospital, not a clinic. It is not clear whether these two Virginia abortion centers are beginning illegal abortions or if a doctor at these two centers is practicing in Virginia without a license. We were able to locate Dr. Brigham's centers in Virginia  only because of the tragic situation in New Jersey.

Sadly, without the tragic medical emergency in New Jersey that led to his discovery, Virginians would never know about Dr. Brigham. Of course, we still don't know as much as we should because his abortion centers, and those of Planned Parenthood and every other abortionist, are neither inspected nor reviewed. Currently, the only way for the state to find out if there is a problem in an abortion center is if a woman who had an abortion files a complaint with the state — violating her right to privacy and opening herself up to publicity.

Virginia once responsibly regulated abortion centers with regulations upheld by the federal courts as constitutional. Years ago, we unilaterally suspended them. Now, after decades, the full Senate will have a historic vote as to whether the Board of Health must develop new ones. Please don't let this opportunity pass. Help us create history this session with a landmark Senate pro-life vote. Ask your senator now to vote for SB 924 as amended, as it will come up in the next day or two.

Contact your senator by e-mail.

Contact your senator by phone.

Learn who your senator is.

Governor Signs Choose Life Bill!

Governor Tim Kaine today signed into law legislation that provides for the creation of a “Choose Life” license plate!

 

Thank you to everyone who contacted the Governor and urged his support of this bill! Thanks also to Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax) for his tremendous leadership in maneuvering this bill through the General Assembly.

 

Since the fall of last year, pro-life Virginians through several organizations have rallied around the Choose Life plate, acquiring pre-paid applications required by DMV to be able to get the plates created, petition signatures and grassroots support. While Senator Cuccinelli’s original bill was killed in a Senate committee, he deftly amended an omnibus license plate bill on the Senate floor with the Choose Life plate, winning by a single vote (20-19). 

 

Proceeds from the purchase of the plates will go to support pregnancy resource centers. These facilities offer medical, spiritual and physical support to women and families in crisis pregnancy. 

 

Despite an all out assault by Planned Parenthood, NARAL Virginia and the ACLU, the Governor chose to dismiss the fallacious arguments of opponents and signed the bill into law.

 

 choose-life

Breaking: Joint Statement By Family Foundation And Virginia Catholic Conference On Absence Of Pro-Life Safeguards By Budget Conferees

JOINT STATEMENT FROM JEFF CARUSO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE VIRGINIA CATHOLIC CONFERENCE, AND VICTORIA COBB, PRESIDENT OF THE FAMILY FOUNDATION OF VIRGINIA

RICHMOND - With the General Assembly set to approve a budget negotiated by House and Senate conferees, officials from two of the Commonwealth's leading statewide pro-life organizations expressed profound regret over the failure of negotiators to provide conscience protections to the vast number of Virginia taxpayers who strongly oppose paying for life-ending practices.

"Words cannot express the disappointment of pro-family Virginians at the decision of the Virginia General Assembly to continue forcing taxpayers of Virginia to fund the destruction of human life and the most extreme pro-abortion organization in Virginia. The General Assembly had multiple options, including banning funding of Planned Parenthood, embryonic stem cell research or state funded abortions. It is simply astonishing that they were unable to get any of the three amendments added to the budget.

"It is outrageously unacceptable to force Virginia taxpayers to fund abortions, life-destructive research, and the abortion industry's largest provider. Large numbers of constituents have expressed their concerns of conscience to budget negotiators for several years now, but these concerns never seem to come close to making the top of the priority list."

Last month, the House of Delegates approved budget provisions prohibiting state funding of abortions and research that requires either a human embryo to be destroyed or a baby to be aborted. Although the Senate's version of the budget did not include these items, the full Senate voted on February 27 to remove more than $200,000 in state funds that had been designated for Planned Parenthood of Virginia, the state affiliate of the nation's largest abortion provider.

Although all three of these provisions were considered by the budget conferees, none of them were included in their final report.

According to data from the Virginia Department of Health and the Department of Medical Assistance Services, state taxpayers have subsidized 322 abortions — almost one every two days — over the last two fiscal years.