Governor Bob McDonnell late Tuesday amended the FY 2011-12 state budget to prohibit taxpayer funding of most elective, low-income abortions. The Family Foundation and several of our pro-life partners in Richmond have been advocating for just such an amendment for several years. For years, Virginia, despite its reputation as a "conservative" state, has funded abortions well beyond what federal law requires. Although not all elective abortions will be prohibited under the amendment, it would remove Virginia from the small list of states that funds elective (i.e., "health" of the mother) abortions. The General Assembly must accept this amendment at next Wednesday's veto session in order for it to become law. During this year's legislative session, a similar amendment was passed by the House of Delegates but rejected by the radical pro-abortion Senate hierarchy — and that is really where the battle lies. Regardless of what actions are taken by the governor, the Virginia Senate has been the body that has blocked nearly every pro-life effort for several years.

In fact, we wouldn't need the governor to introduce pro-life amendments at all if the Senate would pass budgets that include such language. It is clear that it will not be until the Senate reflects the values of Virginia that we will see these victories. The opportunity to make those changes is quickly approaching, as all 40 Senate seats are up for election in 2011.

But for now — over the next few days — we must put our time, energy and resources into this amendment to ban publicly financed elective abortions. This would be a tremendous victory, but to do this, we need your help.

We believe the key to sustaining the amendment lies with five key Senators:

Fred Quayle (R-13, Suffolk): 757-483-9173 district13@senate.virginia.gov

John Watkins (R-10, Midlothian): 804-379-2063 district10@senate.virginia.gov

Roscoe Reynolds (D-20, Martinsville): 276-638-2315 district20@senate.virginia.gov

Chuck Colgan (D-29, Manassas): 703-368-0300 district29@senate.virginia.gov 

Phil Puckett (D-38, Tazewell): 276-979-8181 district38@senate.virginia.gov

Contact these senators today by phone numbers or e-mail adresses listed above and urge them to vote yes on Governor McDonnell’s elective low-income abortion amendment. With your help, we can make a significant advance in Virginia for the preservation of life and realize the fruits of last November's hard work.