Current Virginia law requires the state to pay for elective low-income abortions of unborn children with severe disabilities. This unethical practice requires taxpayers to fund the death of an unborn child after an opinion is given as to his or her value and odds of survival prior to birth. Therefore, The Family Foundation has joined a coalition of pro-life organizations in support of SB 826, a bill patroned by Senator Tom Garrett (R-22, Louisa). By repealing the part of Virginia law forcing taxpayers to pay for non-federally funded abortions, SB 826 brings Virginia in line with the majority of states and with the federal Hyde Amendment — an amendment allowing federal Medicaid funding for abortion only in the case of rape, incest, or life of the mother. The Senate Education and Health committee will hear SB 826 this Thursday. Please e-mail the members of the committee today and encourage them to vote yes on the bill and also vote to defeat any unfriendly amendments or efforts to refer the bill to another committee. Last year a similar bill was referred to the Finance Committee where it failed.

Senator Don McEachin (D-9, Henrico), a leader of the pro-abortion agenda, recently commented on SB 826 stating that children with severe disabilities are "incompatible with life." We could not disagree more! Eric and Ruth Brown of Nashville, Tenn., know something about such a term. Their unborn child was diagnosed with holoprosencephlay, a condition where the brain does not fully develop and the child was deemed "incompatible with life." Unwilling to play God, this family now celebrates their 24-week- old daughter, Pearl.

Life is of intrinsic value regardless of the physical or mental challenges a child may encounter. Every child deserves a chance at life. It is vital that pro-life Virginians e-mail the members of the Senate Education and Health committee today to tell them that unlike Senator McEachin’s radical beliefs, no one should be deemed incompatible with life, especially not from the limited information one gains while their child is in the womb. All unborn are worthy of life and should be given the opportunity to be valued members of society.

Pro-abortion advocates have made false allegations to the media in regards to SB 826. The truth is that SB 826 would not ban the abortion of the disabled, but only refuse public funding for them. In FY 2009, the Virginia Department of Health funded 10 abortions that met the disability criteria and spent a total of $2,566.90 doing so. With recent reports that the "non-profit" Planned Parenthood turned a profit of $87.4 million this past year (after receiving $542.4 million in taxpayer dollars), it's perplexing why taxpayers should be asked to foot the bill for the unethical abortion of the disabled. If the abortion industry feels so adamantly that abortions for the disabled should be available, it should pay for them instead of forcing taxpayers (many in violation of their conscience) to pay. Please contact the members of the Senate Education and Health committee today and urge them to support SB 826.