This afternoon, legislation in both the Senate and House that would unnecessarily burden Virginia’s pregnancy resource centers with regulations will be debated in subcommittees. SB 188, patroned by Senator Ralph Northam (D-6, Norfolk) and HB 452, patroned by Delegate Charniele Herring (D-46, Alexandria) quite simply are intended to paint PRCs as unsafe for women. The bills would require these facilities to post door signs that essentially say they are not health care facilities and don’t provide abortions or contraception, and would require PRCs to register with the state. They might as well ask them to put a sign in the door with directions to the nearest unregulated Planned Parenthood abortion center (see LiveActionBlog). This legislation was introduced at the behest of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. Last week it released a "study" of PRCs in Virginia and charged them with such atrocities as referring to the unborn child as a "baby" and not having medical staff on hand to oversee the use of over-the-counter pregnancy tests. The horror!

The truth is that PRCs serve thousands of women each year with life-affirming resources. They are not regulated as medical clinics because, unlike unregulated abortion centers, they do not perform invasive medical procedures that include the use of anesthesia. Of course, abortion centers in Virginia aren’t regulated as medical clinics either (see HB 393).

Today, the Senate bill will be heard in a Senate Education and Health subcommittee (chaired by Senator Northam himself) while the House version will be debated a House Health, Welfare and Institutions subcommittee.

The Family Foundation has been working with leaders of PRCs around Virginia over the past 24 hours to bring people to Richmond to testify. In an incredible display of unity the directors of several PRCs are coming to Richmond, as well as staff members and some clients who have been served by these important facilities.

But we need you to contact the members of both the Ed and Health (see members here) and HWI committees (see members here) and urge them to reject this legislation. While the bills are being debated in subcommittee today, the full committees will have to vote on the bills later this week, based on the recommendation of the subcommittees.