Tomorrow, In Ed & HealthFeb 17, 2009
Tomorrow, the infamous Senate Education and Health Committee will vote on two pro-life measures. While the committee has seen these bills in past years and defeated them, we will once again bring these reasonable pro-life bills to it for consideration. HB 2579, patroned by Delegate Kathy Byron (R-22, Lynchburg) is a bill that would provide a woman contemplating abortion the option to view her ultrasound prior to an abortion. This is merely an update to the informed consent laws already on the books in Virginia. Currently, a woman is offered a pamphlet with generic pictures showing gestational age; however, an ultrasound would give the woman information specific to her child.
Furthermore, an ultrasound provides for a "safer" abortion in that the gestational age of the child is known, not guessed. After 13 weeks gestation, an abortion must be performed in a hospital — an ultrasound can determine the age. HB 2579, therefore, provides for medical as well as legal responsibility, safety for the mother, and truly informed consent.
While HB 2579 passed the House with a vote of 62-36, it is likely to face increased scrutiny in the Senate committee coined the "graveyard" and the "Committe of Death" for its infamous reputation for killing pro-life bills. However, with your prayers and action, anything is possible. Please urge these Senators to vote for HB 2579 and, with that vote, make a pro-woman, pro-child decision.
Another pro-life bill, HB 2634, patroned by Delegate Ben Cline (R-24, Rockbridge) also will be before the committee. This important piece of legislation would add information about the sensitivity to pain of unborn children to informed consent materials. This bill passed the House of Delegates, 64-34.
There is overwhelming medical evidence which suggest that an unborn baby does experience the discomfort we refer to as pain. This being the case there is an issue on which all sides of the abortion debate could join together. It's common sense and it's compassionate — provide information to the mother that lets her know her unborn child can feel pain, and allow her the option of having anesthesia administered to her unborn child undergoing an abortion procedure.
As straightforward and sympathetic as this might seem, there are forces right here in the Commonwealth who are in opposition to such a suggestion. The good news is you can make your voice heard louder than theirs and once again stand up for those who can't speak for themselves.
Although these bills will meet a tough challenge you can make a difference by contacting members of the Senate Education and Health Committee (click here for contact information) now and letting them know you want them to support this compassionate measure.