Busy WeekSep 20, 2014
With the General Assembly in town, major issues at play, and the Board of Health meeting yesterday, The Family Foundation has been very busy over the past few days. I'd like to share with you a few highlights: Board of Health Meeting
Yesterday, the Virginia State Board of Health met, with the discussion of abortion center health and safety standards part of the agenda. Just two days prior, The Family Foundation released a statement to the media about violations occurring inside the Charlottesville Medical Center for Women. The violations were serious, including the inability of the physician to produce a valid DEA license while continuing to administer Schedule II narcotics, not checking vitals or asking about drug allergies prior to the procedure, unlicensed staff handling and transporting narcotics, no staff trained in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and the list goes on.
The Family Foundation copied the Board of Health on our press release, and we were encouraged to see their concern over these serious violations expressed at the Board meeting. The violations were so egregious that five Board members made a passionate plea to the Department of Health to provide additional details on future violations and to see what could be done to appropriately report violations. Will Fitzhugh, a lawyer for the facility at the center of these violations, presented public comment stating that the Department of Health inspection report findings were false and that the centers are "committed to the health and safety of [their] patients." The problem with his statement is that the abortion industry's testimony is becoming harder and harder to believe as their violations and disregard for women's health increases. Their actions simply don't match their rhetoric.
The next Board of Health meeting will be held on Thursday, December 4th and it promises to be a very important meeting for the vitality of the abortion center standards. The Family Foundation will be rallying people to attend this meeting, somark December 4th on your calendar now and stay tuned for further instructions.
While the Board of Health was meeting yesterday, so too was the General Assembly. In town to primarily work on budget issues and Medicaid expansion, another issue also took center stage in the House of Delegates. There, a resolution introduced by Delegate Mark Cole (R-88, Fredericksburg) authorizing the Speaker of the House to hire outside counsel to defend Virginia law passed 66-32. The resolution was necessary in light of Attorney General Mark Herring's attack on Virginia's Constitution, and continued concerns that he will not defend current Virginia law.
Thank you to all of you who contacted your Delegate on this important measure!
Senate Education and Health Committee
Finally, though it's received little attention, Senate Republicans, fresh off gaining a new majority in June, reorganized committees. With a one-vote majority, Senate Republicans took control of every committee (no power sharing), and reassigned members. Of importance to us, the new Senate Education and Health committee's 8thRepublican vote is John Cosgrove, who has had a solid pro-life voting record, first as a member of the House of Delegates and more recently as a state Senator. New Democrats on that committee include Chap Petersen and Lynwood Lewis, replacing John Miller and Barbara Favola. Click here to view The Family Foundation Action's most recent Report Card scoring each of these legislators.