On Wednesday, the state Senate passed legislation that requires a woman to have and an opportunity to view an ultrasound prior to an abortion, giving pro-life Virginians a major victory!  The bill, first introduced seven years ago and patroned by Senator Jill Vogel (R-27, Winchester), passed 21-18 after a long debate on the Senate floor. The legislation updates the Commonwealth’s informed consent law with modern technology, ensuring that a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering abortion has as much information as possible available to her.

Nineteen of twenty Senate Republicans supported the measure, along with two Democrats.  You can see how your Senator voted by clicking here.

Senate advocates for the abortion industry attempted to play parliamentary games with the bill, first submitting an amendment that would have gutted the bill only to pull it back before a vote, and second by asking for the bill to be “passed by for the day” to have more time to come up with more killer amendments.  Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R-3, Williamsburg) would have none of it and urged rejection of the motion to pass by, which lead to the final vote.

We would like to thank Senator Vogel and Senate leaders who worked with us to ensure the passage of this important measure.

Earlier in the day, after a tense debate lasting more than an hour, the House Education committee passed HB 497, legislation patroned by Delegate Rob Bell (R-58, Charlottesville), that would allow home school students to try out for public school sports teams.  This is the first time after several attempts this bill has passed committee and now heads to the House floor where it faces certain opposition.

Both Governor Bob McDonnell and Speaker of the House Bill Howell (R-28, Fredericksburg) urged passage of the bill and spoke personally with several members of the Education committee in the past few days to ensure the bill passed.  The bill passed 14-8, and you can see how your Delegate voted by clicking here.

Testimony from the home school community was compelling, but none more so than one young man who talked about his career as a soccer player.  Ranked the thirteenth best player in the nation in his class by ESPN, he is a member of a U.S. National Team, representing his country around the world and has a full scholarship to UVA when he completes his home schooling.  He testified, however, that while he can represent his nation, Virginia law bars him from representing his community on his local high school team.

Opponents, including the Virginia Education Association, the Virginia High School League, and the PTA of Virginia, lined up to claim that allowing home school students to try out for high school sports teams would be unfair to public school students.  More likely, the education establishment is concerned that making home schooling more attractive will lead to more families choosing to leave public schools, thereby decreasing funding.