Suprise Miracle: VA Judge Reverses Himself on Terrible Abortion Ruling!May. 15, 2019
Your prayers continue to pay off in big ways!
This afternoon, in an extremely rare and unexpected twist in the abortion industry’s zealous efforts to strike down nearly all of Virginia’s abortion restrictions, Judge Henry E. Hudson issued a sudden 180-reversal from his devastating decision last week declaring that non-doctors can commit abortions in Virginia.
According to Hudson’s Order today:
On further review, the Court is of the opinion that summary judgment was improvidently awarded to the parties on Count IV based on the present record. Rather, on further consideration, whether the "Physicians-Only Law" presents an undue burden to Virginia women who seek an abortion is a material fact that is genuinely in dispute.
Evidently, after sleeping on his initial decision for a few days, the judge realized he had made a serious miscalculation in judgment that was big enough to justify doing a complete (and very public) about-face. Or perhaps his surprise reversal was merely evidence of Proverbs 21:1 – “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it withersoever he will.”
Whatever the full explanation, we're thrilled that Judge Hudson took this extraordinary step to reverse his earlier decision that jeopardized women's health, nullified our laws, and provided another free pass to the abortion facilities. Unfortunately, when we have an Attorney General who acts out of loyalty to a favored special interest instead of fidelity to the law, initial impressions of the court can become distorted. That seems to have played a role here.
The final trial to decide all these issues is still yet to be heard, but we’re tremendously grateful for this positive course correction. Please continue to pray as this case moves forward. Remember: "This is the confidence that we have towards Him, that if we ask anything according to his will He hears us." (1 John 5:14); and "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:16)
Religious Liberty On the Line!May. 14, 2019
The federal “Equality Act” (H.R. 5) is moving through the House of Representatives at warp speed, and is scheduled to be voted on this week!
Last week I told you that this bill is one of the most dangerous pieces of federal legislation that I have seen in my lifetime, a comment that I do not make flippantly. And the more we learn about the potential impact of this legislation, the more my concerns grow.
The bill’s threats to religious liberty, free speech, churches and faith-based hospitals are well-established, but we are learning more about how this bill will actually cause greater harm to people. According to Dr. Michelle Cretella, a pediatrician and executive director of the American College of Pediatricians, H.R. 5 would force physicians to prescribe toxic hormones and drugs for adults and even children that can produce severe side effects, or even to perform serious medical procedures, all to “change” a person’s physical features to conform to their self-prescribed gender identity.
The so-called Equality Act would eliminate all parental authority related to the training and well-being of their children by prohibiting parents from ever interfering with a child’s access to transgender medical procedures. Sadly, this is no longer a hypothetical. Recently, parents in Ohio, which has a similar state law, had their parental rights terminated for failing to approve puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for their adolescent child.
We’ve learned that the so-called Equality Act would also provide that “pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition” cannot be treated any differently than other physical conditions. This means all restrictions to abortion would be torn down, and anybody or any group who doesn’t want to fund or commit an abortion at any stage will be subject to punishment.
The reality is that this type of radical legislation has already permeated many state legislatures, and now the House is applying a full-court press to pass the so-called Equality Act at the federal level.
We cannot allow the government to push people with strong religious convictions into compromising their beliefs, or to usurp the prerogatives – and constitutional rights – of parents to guide the education and health of their children.
CLICK HERE to contact your Members of Congress today, and urge them to OPPOSE H.R. 5, the Equality Act. You can also reach your Congressman and Senators at (202) 224-3121. Don’t wait, the House plans to vote on this bill this week!
Federal Court Strikes Down Pro-Life LawsMay. 09, 2019
Late Monday night, we learned of a rogue federal court’s disturbing decision in Falls Church Medical Center v. Oliver, on a preliminary challenge by Planned Parenthood against nearly every law on our books designed to affirm and protect life for moms and their unborn babies. After digesting the court’s shocking opinion, here’s the gist of the tragic results:
Non-physician staff (e.g. nurses and even midwives) will now be allowed to conduct both surgical and “medical” first-trimester abortions, putting women at even greater risk. (VA’s law for physician-only abortions has been on the books since 1975.) Now, women undergoing a medical or surgical first-trimester abortion will go through this difficult medical procedure without a doctor!
All 16 of Virginia’s abortion centers will now be allowed to perform second-trimester abortions with no criminal penalties. (VA’s criminal law requiring 2nd-Trimester abortions to be conducted in hospitals has been on the books since 1975.) Only two facilities in the state were previously able to perform these.
All of Virginia’s health and safety regulations for abortion facilities have been called into question and are now in serious jeopardy of being invalidated.
This doesn’t even account for the numerous other laws now up in the air to be decided in a trial set for May 20 – such as the “window into the womb” ultrasound requirement, informed consent procedures, the 24-hour wait period before an abortion, and other reasonable measures designed to protect women who are facing such a life-altering decision.
The single greatest political battle we’ve been fighting in Virginia in recent years is defending our hard-fought and common-sense pro-life laws from the relentless schemes of the radical abortion industry to undermine and destroy them. Despite some notable victories, this defense is proving all but impossible when our own Attorney General is the primary culprit in undermining them at every turn.
The abortion industry, led by Planned Parenthood, is seeking to ‘run the tables’ on Virginians in one fell swoop with a single court opinion after 40+ years of solid pro-life gains. They realized that, with this Attorney General fully in their pocket, whose “defense” of our laws in this case looked more like a complete acquiescence to Planned Parenthood’s claims, the judge almost had no choice but to hand so much to the abortion industry.
And when the named Defendant in the case, the state Commissioner of Health – appointed by the infanticide-promoting Governor Northam – takes every opportunity to side with the abortionist Plaintiffs in establishing the claims and facts, how do our pro-life laws stand a chance??? This kind of governence is tyranny at its worst, and the potential consequences are hard to even imagine.
Every Virginian should be outraged!
With virtually no control over what happens next, this is yet another moment for all pro-life Virginians to reflect on one unasailable reality: Elections have consequences. That being true, while we may have little control, we have the ear of the One who has all control. Please join me in praying for the outcome of this case to be fully argued on May 20th. So much is at stake for so many who need the laws' protection.
In the face of this disheartening news, and regardless of the outcome of the final trial, we remain undaunted and will continue to fight in the legislature, the courts, and the hearts and minds of all Virginians.
Love Them Now and Love Them LaterMay. 02, 2019
“So you kill them now or you kill them later. You bring them in the world unwanted, unloved, you send them to the electric chair. So, you kill them now or you kill them later.”
- State Rep. John Rogers, D-Birmingham.
That was the shocking and horrifying comment made on the floor of the House of Representatives of Alabama on Tuesday. The comment was made during a debate to severely limit abortion in that state.
It is difficult to even understand what Representative Rogers is claiming here. The next day he made additional comments to a pair of Alabama reporters and seems to believe that every child who is unwanted will grow up to be addicted to drugs, suffer starvation, and be executed by the State or die in prison.
This is a hopeless viewpoint. It is the view that no one can overcome their circumstances and rise above their humble beginnings.
He ignores every example of great people who did overcome harsh and cold upbringings to be great men and women who advanced noble causes in this land. People from all centuries have overcome a loveless childhood to bless America. Just to list two examples, both Oprah Winfrey and Benjamin Franklin overcame terrible childhood experiences to be incredible blessings to the world.
Representative Rogers ignores the power of the human spirit to overcome hardship. We do not have to either kill a child now or kill the child later. Those children have strength and beauty, and they can overcome the hardship of being unwanted and unloved.
More than that, Representative Rogers ignores the beauty of adoption. How many children were unwanted by their birth parents, but were received into the loving arms of adoptive parents? Hundreds of famous examples exist, but thousands if not millions of cases exist which we will never hear about or read about.
So many people have lived beautiful lives and loved deeply on this earth despite not being wanted or loved by their parents. Killing them is not the best option.
Just because someone is “unwanted” and “unloved” by their birth parents does not mean they should be killed. We should love them, not kill them.
We should love them now and love them later.
Budget Update: Victory for Life!Apr. 04, 2019
We are thrilled to tell you that, at yesterday's "Veto Session" in Richmond to consider the Governor's vetos and budget recommendations, the House of Delegates rejected Governor Northam's attempts to make taxpayers pay for abortions and to funnel millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood! This is a huge win for the protection of unborn life, and a great end to a day that began with Virginia's first-ever (and highly successful) statewide March For Life at the Capitol.
For more details of the pro-life budget provisions that were successfully defended yesterday, read about them here on our blog.
The Governor's amendment to keep millions in tax dollars flowing to abortion facilities was defeated 50-49, and his amendment to fund abortions failed on a vote of 50-45. We want to thank several Delegates who made compelling floor speeches in support of the pro-life language, including Delegates Dave LaRock (R-Loudoun), who has been a champion for the budget's "Hyde Amendment" language, Nick Freitas (R-Culpeper), and Scott Garrett (R-Lynchburg). Look out for videos of these and others like them on our Facebook page soon - The Family Foundation Action.
Believe it or not, there is still one more round left to go in the budget process. It will now be sent back to the Governor, who will have a final veto opportunity. With yesterday’s success, we crossed another major hurdle in protecting life in Virginia. It's a great day to be a pro-life Virginian! Thank you for all your support and prayers.
Tell the Governor NO Tax Dollars for Abortions!Mar. 14, 2019
The General Assembly added three critical pro-life amendments to the state’s budget that will: 1) limit public funding of abortions, 2) strip millions of tax dollars otherwise flowing to abortion facilities through the “LARC” program, and 3) require the Department of Health to report its reasons for approving state-funded abortions. They are now awaiting action by the Governor.
ACTON: Please contact Governor Northam and urge him to agree to these important pro-life budget amendments!
These critically important pro-life provisions hammered out by the House and Senate make this one of the most pro-life budgets we’ve seen in decades. Here is some additional context on each amendment and why they are so important:
1) Limiting the Public Funding of Abortions – “Hyde Amendment”
Introduced by Delegate Dave LaRock (R-33, Hamilton), this measure will bring Virginia in line with the majority of states that align their policies with the federal Hyde Amendment, which limits taxpayer funding for abortions to situations involving rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. Current Virginia law allows the state to also pay for elective low-income abortions of unborn children with disabilities. This horrific practice forces taxpayers to fund the death of an unborn child if two physicians who work for the Department of Health think it’s justified. Every life has intrinsic value, regardless of physical or mental challenges, and every child is worthy of life.
2) Stopping the “LARC” Funds from Flowing to Abortion Providers
Introduced by Senator Siobhan Dunnavant (R-12, Glen Allen), this measure would modify the Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) program she initially helped introduce that ultimately made it into last year’s budget (over our strong objections), now limiting the use of those funds to only the purchase of the IUD devices by the Department of Health – ensuring that no more actual dollars will go to Planned Parenthood through this program. This amendment comes after the program resulted in nearly $3M in grants being allocated to the abortion industry with very vague language defining its use. While some of that money has already been allocated, we believe in the principle of “better late than never.”
3) Requiring the Health Department to Report its Reasons for Approving State-Funded Abortions
This amendment requires the Department of Health to report monthly on the number of state-funded abortion procedures it approved, along with its rationale for approving these “fetal abnormality” abortions for low-income women. In the past, the Department has refused to divulge its reasons for approving these state-funded abortions, and we speculate they are construing the term broadly, especially as the yearly totals continue to increase. Assuming, however, that the Governor is not able to strip out the Hyde Amendment language, there would no longer be any abortions to report for this provision.
Life Stole the Show! [General Assembly Recap Part 1]Mar. 04, 2019
The 2019 General Assembly session wrapped up last Sunday, and in my 19 years with The Family Foundation, I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like it. It was a whirlwind of major policy issues with game-changing implications, fought over in a raw and unpredictable political slug-fest marked by all the hype, drama and epic showdowns one could hardly expect from a primetime Hollywood storyline – and so much of it played out on a national stage. In Virginia’s Capitol of recent days, the truth is stranger than fiction. Yet from the midst of all the chaos has emerged one miraculous victory after another, and while this session didn’t end with a perfect record, we consider it a tremendous success. In Part 1 of our 2019 Session Recap, we highlight some of the issues involving life.
All 15 Abortion Bills Were Defeated (including "New York" counterpart and the so-called "ERA"), we have the most Pro-Life budget in decades, and we won a big victory in our Lawsuit over abortion facility regulations.
Roughly 15 bills to expand abortion in Virginia were introduced this year, and we are thrilled to report that ALL of them were defeated – including the infamous “New York” style abortion bill aimed at repealing essentially every restriction on abortion we’ve spent decades to put in place, and even allowing for abortions for any reason up to the moment of birth! And of course, there was also the whole fiasco of Governor Ralph Northam actually defending infanticide AFTER a baby is already born – and then doubling down on his position instead of backtracking or clarifying, with virtually every Democratic legislator and top official fully backing him up on it. A national firestorm ensued, and for the first time in a long time, we are actuallygetting to have a substantive public conversation about what abortion really is - and what many of our elected officials actually believe about it.
And as if that wasn’t intense enough, we faced (and defeated!) a nationalized effort to make Virginia the 38th and final state to ratify the so-called Equal Rights Amendment, which among many other terrible consequences, would likely be used to establish a new constitutional right to taxpayer-funded abortion. Despite every last effort to make Virginia the last to fall in a proxy-war over abortion and seemingly every other Leftist agenda item, we pulled out a victory - with credit belonging to a lot of good people, and especially the courageous leaders in the House. You can read more about the epic battle to defeat the ERA this year on our blog here, here, and here. While many important matters were going on these past few months, the 2019 session became, without question, the year dominated by life.
Watch our short video clip about some of it:
There were also several good foster care and adoption bills that passed this year. We also saw, for the very first time, a bill introduced to legalize physician-assisted suicide, which failed.
HJ 715 (R-Byron), a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting public funding of abortion, unfortunately, did not go forward – this despite our initiating a Mason-Dixon statewide poll confirming that 56% of Virginians oppose tax-paying funding of abortions, while only 34% support it. (with 10% undecided) Read more about what happened to it on our blog here.
The session ended on a high note with the House and Senate agreeing to what appears to be the most pro-life budget in decades! We are thrilled to report that three critically important pro-life amendments have made it into the final budget that has gone to the Governor for approval. They would: 1) Limit the public funding of abortions with the "Hyde Amendment", 2) Stop the “LARC” program dollars from flowing to abortion providers, and 3) Require the Health Department to report its reasons for approving state-funded abortions.
Finally, right in the middle of all these, we learned that we won our two-year legal battle over the Board of Health’s illegal repeal of many common-sense health and safety regulations for Virginia’s abortion facilities! Read about our victory here.
What an incredible year it was for life! We have so much to be thankful for and excited about. Meanwhile, stay tuned for our Session recaps on the other important issues that matter most to you.
Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Deserve ProtectionFeb. 25, 2019
Last month Governor Northam calmly and meticulously made statements that support infanticide of babies born alive during abortion attempts. Those comments started a national conversation. Through that conversation we realized that 19 states allow abortion doctors to leave a baby, born alive after a failed abortion, alone to die.
That is what would have happened to Melissa Ohden, Josiah Presley, and Claire Culwell, just to name three examples of people who survived an abortion attempt.
Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) has introduced a bill, S.311, at the federal level to protect people like Melissa, Josiah, and Claire. It is called the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.
The Senate is going to vote on this bill tonight. Please take a moment to reach out to Senator Kaine and Senator Warner to tell them you support the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. A vote against this life-saving bill is ultimately a vote in support of infanticide.
You can also reach out to your Senators by phone.
Sen. Tim Kaine- (202) 224-4024
Sen. Mark Warner (202) 224-2023
Thank you for taking action on this important federal bill today!
A Tragic Loss for Life and FamilyFeb. 22, 2019
On Wednesday, by a vote of 63-36 the House of Delegates, unfortunately, agreed to the Senate’s nominally-amended version of HB 1979 (D-48, Sullivan). (The Senate passed it 28-12.) The bill will now make its way to the Governor’s desk for his signature. Make no mistake, this legislation will bring a dramatic and harmful policy shift concerning the creation and treatment of human life, the rights of children, the basis for parenthood, the significance of marriage, and the dynamics of the parent-child relationship. Despite the numerous victories so far this session, the passage of HB 1979 is of profound damage to the family.
Some have called this bill "pro-life" because it will now allow single people and same-sex couples to contract with a surrogate mother to implant one or more of the one million "snowflake babies," which have been created in labs and are currently frozen. But those same legislators completely disregarded the obvious incentives this bill creates, which will only lead to countless more human embryos being created in labs, frozen, and left to languish. While we, too, want existing human embryos to have the opportunity to fully develop, this bill will only ensure this problem is multiplied.
Another reason this bill cannot be pro-life is because it allows surrogacy contracts to include forced abortions, including “selective reductions,” which is the horrific practice of killing some of the babies in the womb, while leaving one or more alive. Some contracts also allow the intended parents to be able to require abortion of the child(ren) if the child appears to have a disability, or simply if they change their minds about wanting the child. This is commonplace in surrogacy contracts, and current Virginia law does not prohibit these types of agreements. This bill will greatly expand the number of surrogacy contracts, but without doing anything to protect against forced abortions at the demands of the “intended parents.”
For the first time, this bill would sever the biological connection between a child and his or her parents before the child is ever born. Current law requires at least one parent to be a genetic parent of the child who is being intentionally created through assisted conception. This bill allows for there to be no genetic connection at all, replacing the legal basis for parenthood with a mere contract among willing adults, which effectively flips the current custodial paradigm of “best interests of the child” to one of merely the desires and intentions of any adult.
Tragically, this bill, for the first time, allows for a child to be intentionally and permanently deprived of either a mother or a father before they are even born, and for the entirety of their life. (The bill removed all the references to “father”, “mother”, “husband” and “wife”.) Yet every person innately understands the value of having both a mother and father, and those who grow up without either a mother or a father tend to have a deep longing to have and to know them. Since the bill now allows single and non-married persons to contract with someone to produce a child for them through surrogacy simply because they want one, this Commonwealth has just declared that when it comes to bringing children into the world, married homes are no more preferred than single-parent homes.
While the outcome is incredibly disappointing, we witnessed throughout the process incredible courage on the part of some legislators who did not succumb to the outside pressures to support this bill. We want to especially thank Delegate Dave LaRock (R-33, Hamilton) for his commitment to protecting unborn life and speaking on the House floor in opposition to HB 1979 several times, including his great floor speech yesterday. Watch it HERE.
HB 1979 is a clear illustration of the lengths that the Left (and now, even some on the Right) will go to in order to redefine the family by stripping away the biological connections between parents and children and to protect the barbaric practice of selective reduction and abortion.
Please pray for us as we continue to fight against these dangerous anti-life and anti-family policies.
ERA is Defeated for the LAST TimeFeb. 22, 2019
It's over once and for all (this year)!
After watching the ERA get defeated in the subcommittee and again in the full committee, we can finally breathe a sigh of relief knowing that it has been finally defeated in the full House of Delegates this year.
In a desperate, last ditch effort to pass the so-called Equal Rights Amendment, Delegate Hala Ayala tried to change the very rules of the House of Delegates!
Take a moment to say Thank You to these House Republicans who recognized this last-second rule change for what it was, a political ploy by advocates of the so-called ERA to allow abortions on the day of one's birth with no restrictions whatsoever!
Here are all fifty of the Delegates who voted against the rule change to advance the ERA today.
Click here to thank your Delegate directly!
(Note: This will only work if you are their constituent.)
Speaker Kirk Cox, Les Adams, Terry Austin, Dickie Bell, Rob Bell, Rob Bloxom, Emily Brewer, Kathy J. Byron, Jeff Campbell, Ronnie Campbell, Mark Cole, Chris Collins, Glenn Davis, James Edmunds II, Matt Fariss, Buddy Fowler, Nick Freitas, Scott Garrett, Todd Gilbert, Chris Head, Gordon Helsel, Keith Hodges, Tim Hugo, Riley Ingram, Chris Jones, Terry Kilgore, Barry Knight, Steve Landes, Dave LaRock, Jay Leftwich, Danny Marshall, John McGuire III, Joe McNamara, Jason Miyares, Will Morefield, Israel O'Quinn, Bobby Orrock, Chris Peace, Todd Pillion, Brenda Pogge, Charles Poindexter, Margaret Ransone, Roxann Robinson, Nick Rush, Chris Stolle, Bob Thomas, Lee Ware, Michael Webert, Tony Wilt, and Thomas Wright.
Click here to thank your Delegate directly!
(Note: This will only work if you are their constituent.)
Democrats Now Advocating Forced Abortions?Feb. 20, 2019
Yesterday, we witnessed a rare and almost unbelievable debate on the Senate floor over a proposed amendment to HB 1979 (D-Sullivan), a bill that would bring a dramatic and dangerous policy shift concerning the creation and treatment of human life, the rights of children, the basis for parenthood, the significance of marriage, and the dynamics of the parent-child relationship. Senator Mark Peake (R-Lynchburg) introduced a much-needed amendment that would simply prevent the state from recognizing any clause within a surrogacy contract that required the surrogate mother to have an abortion or undergo the barbaric practice of "selective reduction" (killing one or more babies if multiple embryos developed).
We could hardly believe the debate that ensued. To our shock and dismay, every Democrat that got up to speak actually defended the ability of some people to force these vulnerable women to destroy the child(ren) inside their womb if the contract permitted the "intended parent(s)" to demand it - and for theoretically any reason. You can watch the entire floor debate HERE. (Start at 1:46:19 and go to 2:16:35)
Senator Peake, who did a phenomenal job defending the amendment, summarized his bill as follows: "This bill prevents people who are not going to carry a baby, and many times will never be able to carry a baby, from telling someone who is carrying a baby that she has to go in and kill that baby. That's the purpose of this amendment. And this amendment leaves that choice - that choice with the woman who is pregnant with the babies."
Apparently, that was just too much for Senate Democrats. Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond City), in opposing the amendment, stated: "These decisions can and should be made between the parties to that contract, the woman who is putting her own life at risk to carry a child, and the family who is entrusting this woman to carry the child for them. And there is no reason we should not trust the three of them to enter into a contract that protects all of their interests." We couldn't help but wonder what happened to her otherwise standard line that "This is a decision solely between a woman and her doctor."
Adding to our shock, in a voice vote on the amendment, Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax ruled that the "Nays" were louder and thus defeated the measure! The terrible bill then passed - and without ANY protections for the unborn lives, including for the countless thousands of frozen embryos.
Now the bill will be considered again by the House of Delegates either tomorrow or Thursday (since it was slightly different than the version it passed). This means it's the LAST CHANCE for the bill to be stopped or amended to make it somewhat less objectionable.
URGENT ACTION: Please click here to contact every Republican delegate claiming to be "pro-life" and urge them to ensure that - at the very least - unborn life is protected in this bill.
It's not too late - there is still time for the House to act! Please contact them now!
Urgent Action Needed: Stop Tax-Payer Funding of Abortion in VA's Budget!Feb. 19, 2019
This week, state budget negotiators are meeting to finalize amendments to the 2018-2020 biennium budget, and before them are three amendments critically important to the pro-life cause. They are designed to eliminate, reduce, and/or reprioritize the public funding of abortions and the subsidizing of abortion providers in Virginia.
ACTION: Please contact the House and Senate budget conferees now to urge them to support these critical pro-life budget amendments that protect taxpaying Virginians from funding more abortions!
Limiting Public Funding of Abortions
The first amendment, introduced by Delegate Dave LaRock (R-33, Hamilton), would simply bring Virginia in line with the majority of states and with the federal Hyde Amendment – limiting taxpayer funding for abortions to only the narrow cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. Current Virginia law allows the state to pay for elective low-income abortions of unborn children with disabilities. This horrific practice forces taxpayers to fund the death of an unborn child if two physicians who work for the Department of Health think it’s justified. But how could it ever be justified?!? Life has intrinsic value, regardless of physical or mental challenges, and every child is worthy of life and should be ensured the opportunity to be valued members of society.
Defunding Planned Parenthood and Other Abortion Centers
A second amendment, introduced by Delegate Scott Garrett (R-23, Lynchburg), would prohibit the Department of Health from sending state funds to abortion centers, including Planned Parenthood, whether for abortion or anything else. It would also reprioritize the types of entities that the Health Department contracts with or provides grants for family planning services.
Stopping the “LARC” Funds from Flowing to Abortion Providers
The third amendment, introduced by Senator Siobhan Dunnavant (R-12, Glen Allen), would modify the Long Active Reversible Contraception (LARC) program created in last year’s budget – despite our strong objection – to limit the use of those funds to only the purchase of the IUD device (with no dollars actually going to Planned Parenthood) and encourage partnerships with other organizations to reduce the average cost of the device. This amendment comes after the program resulted in nearly $3M being allocated to the abortion industry with very vague language defining its use.
ACTION: Please contact the budget conference committee members now and urge them to support these critical pro-life amendments!
Wormtongue’s Whispers, Herod’s Handmaids and the March for LifeFeb. 15, 2019
This is a guest blog from Author Mary Walsh.
Originally posted at www.be-notafraid.com
Even the smallest person can change the course of the future. J.R.R. Tolkien
J.R.R. Tolkien was a literary genius and a lover of language who understood its power and significance in the lives of men. For better or worse, words always precede other things. Tolkien’s character of Grima Wormtongue has a name which fits him like a glove. Wormtongue has King Theoden’s ear, but the conniving advisor is working for the enemy. Wormtongue uses his position of power and influence to the detriment of his king and his kingdom. When confronted by Gandalf about his behavior, Gandalf wastes little time and minces fewer words in his rebuke of Grima Wormtongue:
The wise speak only of what they know, Gríma son of Gálmód. A witless worm have you become. Therefore be silent, and keep your forked tongue behind your teeth. I have not passed through fire and death to bandy crooked words with a serving-man till the lightning falls.
In the days since the March for Life, I keep thinking about the significance of Wormtongue and his relevance to recent days.
On the eve of the March for Life, we were working on our signs for the March for Life on the kitchen table. I am convinced that most great things in life happen around the kitchen table. Around the kitchen table, families discuss the great issues of the day. Never let it be said that we did not stand up for those who had no voice. Now, it is true that there are many pre-printed signs available at the March, but I have a deep and undying love for making my own. There is something uniquely important and fundamentally necessary about making your own protest signs as an American. As toxic as the culture we live in seems to be, we are still blessed as American citizens to have the right to redress our grievances to our government. It is important that our children learn this vital civics lesson: that the rights guaranteed to us by our Constitution are real. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
As the markers continued to squeak across the board, I mentioned that this would be the 46th March for Life. My daughter’s marker slowed as she filled in the hands on her sign, and looked at me with quizzical eyes. “What do you mean the 46th March for Life?” Clearly, there was something about the number 46 which was really bothering her. We sat there at the kitchen table as her mind processed what that meant. “Are you saying that in 46 years they haven’t figured out how to stop abortion?” The innocence of a young girl’s clarity of thought is beautiful, powerful and terrifying all at once. “All those people that we elect and send to Washington haven’t been able to stop this?” The confluence of anger, frustration and despair rose in her eyes at the thought that those entrusted with the basic safety of their citizens have been abysmal failures. I knew what the next question would be. “Then why are we going? What’s the point if no one is going to listen?” And there they were, just like that, the whispers of Wormtongue on the eve of the March for Life.
My heart hurt with that familiar despairing sort of pain I could read in her face. This is the kind of pain that tempts you to stay home and not to bother going. It’s the irritating and nagging thoughts and second guessing that all your efforts have been in vain. The cost is too high, your time is lost and no one is listening anyway. Why do we fight? Why do we bother? Why do we go? When the true darkness of what we are up against in this battle for life threatens to overtake us, we need to remember the words of St. Mother Teresa: “We are not called to be successful. We are called to be faithful.” In other words, the final battle is not ours to win. It never was. It has already been won by Christ. Our battle is to give witness to the truth so that others will come to realize that life is God’s beautiful gift to us. So we will go in the sun, or the rain or the snow. We will give witness to what we believe. The final battle has already been won; our faith tells us that. We will not be silent. We will not yield to the whispers of Wormtongue in the shadows.
The morning of the March dawned cold and gray with a promise of 52 degrees and sunny. However, as with many Marches, it was long on cold and short on sunny. We joined our fellow marchers for mass at our parish before embarking on the buses because the battle against the culture of death is not merely a temporal one. Arriving at the March to join 500,000 of our closest friends is one of the most remarkable and uplifting experiences you can have on planet Earth. Joyful people gathered to celebrate the God’s great gift of life from all ages, colors and abilities. The kids from Louisiana all had their snow boots, while kids from Virginia forgot theirs. College and high school kids abounded with unmatched enthusiasm. Mount St. Mary’s had an awesome band on the drums while marching up Constitution Avenue toward the Supreme Court.
Our family has been attending the March for four generations. In that time, the crowds have steadily increased every year. It is a reason for hope. Kids chanted brightly and boldly, “We love babies, yes we do. We love babies how about you?” They shared snacks, smiles, jokes and a few snowballs. College kids buoyantly raised their signs, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Roe v. Wade has got to go.” Finally, after a long hiatus of support from the White House prior to 2016, Vice-President and Mrs. Pence addressed the crowd followed by President Trump on the jumbotron. The Marchers will be there whether or not it snows, or whether or not the president addresses the March, but there is no denying that it is absolutely significant and heartening that the current White House administration cares enough about right to life to show up and be counted.
Why do we attend the March? I remember a speech by the ever eloquent Congressman from Illinois, Henry Hyde, who said at the end of his life, he hoped that when he arrived at the heavenly gates that his work for the unborn would not go unnoticed, and that those unborn babies would recognize him when he arrived at doorstep of heaven.
We cannot and will not be silent. Three ensnaring traps lay in silence: despair, ambivalence and acceptance. Despair is a pit; don’t fall into it. The Lord said, “I will not leave you orphans.” You can take that to the bank. Despair gains nothing and costs everything. Re-evaluate the picture and recognize that you won’t win this battle by yourself, but that doesn’t mean that your own contribution to the pro-life cause is meaningless. Pray and Act. Prayer is absolutely necessary to this battle. Help those mothers in need. Encourage mothers and fathers in their parenthood. Vote pro-life. Question those candidates who claim to be pro-life. It doesn’t help the cause to elect a politician who is personally opposed to abortion but who steadily votes for it once ensconced in office.
The end result of having a “personally opposed” politician in office is aptly described in A Man for All Seasons in the words of St. Thomas More to Cardinal Wolsey: “Well, I believe when statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties…they lead their country on a short route to chaos.” Elections have consequences at every level of government. Pro-life legislators need your help to get elected. Talk with your neighbors, families and friends and keep those lines of communication open. Ambivalence is always deadly because it inevitably turns to inaction. Acceptance of the status quo is a nonstarter. Roe v. Wade is not settled law. No amount of laws will ever justify the travesty of injustice wrought by the killing of innocent children.
If the truth sets men free; silence keeps men captive to a lie. As we approached the top of the hill near the Supreme Court during the March, there were a number of brave women standing with signs such as “Conceived in Rape” and “Punish the rapist not the child.” In the eyes of several of these brave women were tears. This heroism should not go unnoticed. The tears bear witness to the cost of their suffering. These are tears rarely seen in public and even more rarely talked about in print, but their suffering is real and because of it more people will know the truth that abortion only hurts everyone involved.
My teenage daughter was right. Forty-six years is forty-six years too many, but with the help of God’s grace, our perseverance will endure. Wormtongue’s whispers will continue to lurk in the shadows while his minions work exhaustively, much as they did in the days of King Herod. If you have any doubt about this, just watch these video clips below of Delegate Kathy Tran and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam in their own Herodian words. The ancient Romans gave the power of life and death over their children to the father; our society gives it to the mother, but it is all the same innocent victim.
The video of Delegate Tran is galling not only in its honesty but in its sheer barbarism. Governor Northam’s response to questions about this bill are not only horrific but calmly stated in his soft southern accent as he deceptively weaves the concept of palliative care for infants with what has since been called a fourth trimester abortion. Of course, there is no such thing as a fourth trimester in pregnancy, and the reality is that cloaking it as such is just another one of myriad of attempts to hide the truth from ourselves because we just can’t handle it. Governor Northam’s conflation of palliative care and abortion is also a grave insult to every mother and father who has held their preterm or full term baby in their arms as their hearts beat as one for a short while before the new life, not long for this earth, ebbs slowly into the next one due to an untreatable medical condition and not as the result of intentional killing. The governor’s words are a slap in the face to every good medical professional who abides by the Hippocratic Oath in caring for these children. These modern-day handmaids of Herod seek only to preserve their own thrones, as he did, by sacrificing innocent children for the sake of raw, pathetic, political power.
At the end of the day after we got home from the March, my daughter and I shared a cup of hot tea at the kitchen table. She said, “You know, the March for Life is one of those things that you’re always glad you went to when you get home.” Indeed. When I get to heaven’s gate, I want to hear the babies say, “She was there. She was with us. She was not silent.”
Join The Family Foundation and thousands of pro-life Virginians for the first Virginia March for Life being held on April 3, 2019 at the Capitol. Click Here to Register Today.
Watch Delegate Kathy Tran testify about her bill.
The Governor Speaks:
Bill to Make Babies Legal Property Passes House, Goes to Senate!Feb. 08, 2019
As I told you earlier this week, HB 1979 (D-Sullivan) is one of the most Anti-Family bills we've seen that actually has a shot at passing.
With your emails and calls, and The Family Foundation team's lobbying efforts, HB 1979 has taken some major hits, but unfortunately it still passed the House of Delegates this week on a vote of 61-36. (Watch the video clip of the House floor debate where Delegate Dave LaRock masterfully critiques this bill, joined by Delegates Brenda Pogge and Nick Freitas.) Now it has been assigned to the Senate Courts of Justice Committee, and will most likely be voted on next week!
This bill will open up Pandora's Box on critical matters involving Life, Parental Rights, and the most basic notions of what it means to be a family. It must be stopped.
Some are naively calling this bill "pro-life" because it will make it easier for single people and same-sex couples to enter into surrogacy contracts to implant one of the one million "snowflake babies" which have been created in labs and are currently frozen. But even setting aside the terrible public policy decision of encouraging children to be born into the world without both a mom and a dad, nothing in this bill would limit the continued proliferation of more and more lab-created human beings, most of which will be forever frozen or destroyed.
Here are some of the terrible consequences of this bill:
1) Recognizes in VA law (for the first time since the 1860s) human beings as property to be “owned” by others.
The bill language inserts “owns”, “owned”, or “ownership” 8 times to refer to human embryos. (A new concept and legal term of art.)
2) Multiplies and expands the commodification of human beings to potentially be exchanged, traded, bought, and sold.
Children are not commodities to be sold or bartered!
3) Creates a new legal presumption for parenthood that is not tied to biology, undermining the parental rights of ALL parents.
This will cause serious long-term damage to our society. Imagine the immeasurable damage to a child when they will now grow up to be told that they never had a father, or that they never had a mother.
4) Encourages the creation of babies without both a mom and a dad because it would now allow any single individual to contract with a surrogate to obtain a baby.
Unmarried homes create more unstable environments for children.
5) Greatly diminishes the nuclear family with a dad, a mom, and their resulting biological (or adopted) children.
The breakdown of the family and familial bonds is the single greatest cause of ALL of the other social ills we face since the nuclear family is the bedrock societal institution.
6) Leads to the commercialization of “lab-babies” with no parents, which will lead to selection based on certain desired traits.
This will lead to countless human lives being created and destroyed in labs.
7) Erases terms like “husband” and “wife”, “his” and “her”, to replace them with gender-neutral language.
This further blurs important distinctions between male and female and removes child-rearing from the sexual/procreational/conjugal union of a man and woman, leading to the commodification of children, and ultimately to government assumption of parental rights.
Saving the Littlest Ones in VirginiaJan. 30, 2019
Most people in this country are rightly horrified that we are discussing killing children by abortion literally moments before they are born. New York’s law allows that, now.
This week the nation watched as Delegate Kathy Tran (D-42) admitted that her bill would allow the same thing in Virginia. She was forced to admit that even while the mother is about to give birth to a healthy child, abortion could be legally allowed if her bill passed.
Delegate Tran was not alone in proposing this bill. She was joined by Delegate Debra Rodman (D-73) who stood in support of HB 2491. Three of the Committee members also voted for this atrocious bill.
Meanwhile in the Senate, Senator McClellan (D-9) introduced an identical bill (SB 1451) which received unanimous support from her party in the Committee.
Senator McClellan introduced this language last year, as well. Her effort to expand abortion on demand up to the day of birth has been narrowly defeated – by just one vote – two years in a row.
Life is really on the line in this deeply dividing legislature in Virginia. Senator McClellan and her friends want to allow abortion on demand up to the day of birth. All in all, 14 of the 19 Democrat Senators and 23 of the Democrat Delegates have gone on record supporting these abortion bills. Speaker Cox and his friends are holding the line against that effort, but it is just one vote away from turning the other way around.
Governor Northam has publicly supported the bill, and perhaps even goes beyond supporting abortion up to birth. He said in a radio interview that, "If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered, the infant would be kept comfortable, the infant would be resuscitated if that's what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother."
Please keep the legislators in your prayers as they reach the half-way mark of this legislative session. Pray for them to support life. Pray that those who are supporting these radical abortion bills will have a change of heart. Pray that the lives of the unborn will be protected in Virginia.
We celebrate that Senator McClellan’s bill and Delegate Tran’s copy of it in the House were both defeated. Please thank all of the Delegates (Gilbert, Leftwich, Campbell, J.L., Ransone, Bell, Robert B) and Senators (Newman, Black, Carrico, Cosgrove, Dunnavant, Chase, Suetterlein, Peake) who voted against them.
We also want to urge the House of Delegates to pass a vital bill that would prevent taxpayer dollars from being used to pay for abortions. Delegate Kathy Byron’s abortion funding Constitutional amendment needs to be voted on in the House before the end of the week! Click here to urge the members of the House Privileges & Elections Committee to vote that Constitutional amendment forward.
What Happened?Jan. 29, 2019
Yesterday a subcommittee of the Privledges and Elections Committee heard HJ 715 (R-Byron) - Constitutional Amendment to prohibit tax dollars from being used to pay for abortions. After thorough testimony from both sides, the committee set it aside and went on with other bills.
You can watch the testimony online here. It was recorded by The Family Foundation as a live Facebook video.
At the end of the full agenda, the committee picked back up several bills and took votes. No one, from either side of the political aisle, brought this amendment forward to make a motion. This non-action was more than a bit surprising to our team, as the House of Delegates has passed bills and budget amendments year after year banning taxpayer funding for abortion.
The subcommittee's non-action could not be because they didn't know it was a priority to pro-family Virginians. Incredibly, beginning Sunday night, in less than 24 hours, 616 individual people emailed the eight Delegates on this subcommittee to urge them to support this bill!
ACTION ALERT: Since HJ 715 still technically remains on the subcommittee docket, we are asking everyone to CLICK HERE to urge the Committee members and House Republican Leadership to pass this much-needed Amendment!
Even if you already sent an email, please send another asking for this bill to get a vote before crossover!
Click here to send an email message urging these Committee Members and House Republican Leadership to pass this important Constitutional Amendment before it’s too late!
We Won!Jan. 28, 2019
On Friday evening we learned of Judge John Marshall's decision in our two-year court battle challenging the Board of Health's unlawful actions to substantially weaken the health and safety regulations for Virginia's abortion centers.
We are thrilled to finally announce that the majority of the Board's amendments were held to be legally invalid and completely suspended!
We want to thank you for your prayers, for so many who showed up early to stand in long lines for the Board of Health meetings when they were rewriting the standards, for those who generously gave financially, and for all of your encouragement in this worthy cause. It has paid off!
A huge thank you goes to the petitioners in this case, Itzel Melendez, Megan Getter, Hank Kuhlman, and Delegate Kathy Byron, who were willing to step up and challenge the Adminstration. And much credit belongs to their attorney Dan Carrell, who represented them and masterfully argued this case through its multiple stages.
Most of all, we thank God for leading and guiding us to this point. The victory belongs to Him.
It's been a long road since Gov. Terry McAuliffe's Board of Health, with the advice of Attorney General Mark Herring, illegitimately carved up our common-sense regulations designed to hold abortion centers accountable and to protect women from unregulated and underregulated abortion operations. We joined this lawsuit challenging the legality of those changes to push back against McAuliffe's and Herring's willingness to ignore the law for ideological ends and to pay back the abortion industry who contributed millions to help get them elected.
It's clear the abortion industry thinks they should have to follow as few standards as possible. But when Terry McAuliffe's Board of Health, with the help of Attorney General Mark Herring, broke the law to grant them their wish, we felt compelled to stand up and say "Not on our watch." Today, we celebrate having substantially prevailed in our determined stand to hold the abortion industry, and the adminstrative state, accountable to the law.
We also joined the suit so we could prevent another Kermit Gosnell from operating in Virginia. After all, it was those very regulations, finally put into effect in 2011 after decades of efforts, that led to the closure of eight abortion centers across the state, including one run by the infamous abortionist, Stephen Brigham, in Northern Virginia. A 70-page report of egregious violations at Brigham's facility in 2016 was so bad that it even forced Gov. McAuliffe's own adminstration to suspend it indefinitely, never to reopen. But even that wasn't enough to slow down McAuliffe and Herring's zealous pursuit to make Planned Parenthood's operations as profitable and unregulated as they could.
In total, 13 of 20 regulatory sections the Board of Health amended were suspended, and it looks like the Board will have to start over from the beginning and actually follow the law if they want to implement them.
Lord willing, this battle is now over and won. But as you know, the war for protecting every innocent human life rages on. And with your support, we look forward to leading the charge in the battles to come.
Today, January 28, the House of Delegates Privileges and Elections Subcommittee #4 will be voting on Delegate Kathy Byron’s resolution to add a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting taxpayer dollars to be used to pay for abortions. You can support this resolution and send a message to all members of that committee by clicking here.
Tell Your Delegate: Don't Force Virginians to Pay for AbortionsJan. 24, 2019
Last week I told you about how several radical abortion bills were defeated that would have increased the number and profitability of abortions in Virginia. Legislators narrowly voted to uphold common-sense health and safety regulations on abortion facilities, which protect the lives of women and unborn children. The battle over unborn life continues, but now it’s the pro-life legislators leading the charge.
At The Family Foundation’s request, Delegate Kathy Byron (R-Campbell) introduced HJ 715 which ensures that Virginia, like several other states have done, guarantees in our state Constitution that tax dollars won’t fund abortions. The proposed amendment states:
“No taxes or other revenues of the Commonwealth may be used to pay for abortions, provided that nothing herein shall prevent the use of such funds to preserve the life of the mother.”
Please contact your Delegate now and urge them to vote YES on HJ 715!
While our culture is deeply divided over the practice of abortion itself, most people agree that those who oppose abortion should not be compelled to pay for it through their tax dollars. In fact, The Family Foundation initiated a Mason-Dixon Poll in December asking registered Virginia voters: “Do you support or oppose taxpayer funding of abortion?” The result was encouraging: 56% of Virginians OPPOSE taxpayer funding of abortion, and only 34% say they support it. (with 10% undecided)
The right to life is the most basic human right guaranteed by our Constitution. As long as unborn persons cease to receive protection for their right to life, the least we can do is guarantee that Virginia citizens do not have to pay for the denial of that right. Because of the profound implications to the rights to life and religious liberty, the Constitution is the most appropriate place for this guarantee.
Constitutional Amendments limiting the use of public funds are not new to Virginia. In 2000, Virginians approved an Amendment restricting the use of Lottery funds to education. If we can approve a constitutional amendment that places limits on how Lottery funds are used, then we can certainly approve an amendment to prevent our tax dollars from paying for abortions!
Every year the General Assembly fights over this issue of using public dollars to fund abortions in the state budget. Since the state budget effectively overrides the state Code, elevating it to the Constitution is the only way to ensure that it is not constantly treated as a “political football” every year.
ACTION: Please contact your Delegate and urge them to vote YES on HJ 715 so you don’t have to fund the taking of innocent life.
Legal Abortion and Limited GovernmentDec. 05, 2018
This is a Guest Blog by The Family Foundation friend, Mark Shepard. Mr. Shepard is a former state senator from Vermont, and now resides in central Virginia with his family. This article previously appeared in various publications, and is reprinted with permission.
In an October 27 debate for the U.S. Senate seat in Vermont, current Senator Bernie Sanders, an unapologetic self-avowed socialist, made the following statement (go to minute 23:45):
I must tell you that I get tired of many of my conservative colleagues who talk about getting the government off the backs of the people. They want to deregulate everything. But when it comes to a women's right to control her own body, well they think that state government and federal government should be right in there telling every woman in this country how she can control her own body or whether she can control her own body.
Sanders' comment went unchallenged during the debate; yet the limited-government case against legalizing abortion is solid.
Before making that case, it is important to note that Sanders does not present the situation with any intellectual honesty. First, there are at least two lives in every abortion and they must both be considered. Second, framing the right to abortion as solely a women's freedom issue is disingenuous. Plenty of data makes the case that abortions are pushed far more by men, who want sex without responsibility, than by women wanting to abort their children. Threats and abuse toward women, already trying to navigate a stressful situation, are both real and widespread.
While Sanders' focused on the "hidden" lives of the unborn, the real issue is: where does human life get its value? Abortion supporters give the state the greatest power possible, which is setting the scale that determines the relative value of human life. While the state may not be "pulling the trigger," the state is removing itself from its most important duty to protect innocent human life and thus is fully culpable. Moreover, often the state encourages the killing by paying the killer.
Ensuring government does not have the power to choose what innocent lives are and are not expendable is very much a limited-government position. It is keeping the ultimate power over life and death out of the hands of government. In terms of our federal government, setting the value of innocent human life is not among its enumerated constitutional powers. By contrast, a government empowered to arbitrarily legalize killing of innocent life is an unlimited-government.
Our aim should be that our government equally protects all people, which is in keeping with our national creed, "... that all men [people] are created equal, ...." Let that be the goal we strive for, rather than Sanders' low view of humanity, where some people are created more deserving of "the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness [truth]" than other people, as determined by those wielding the power of government.
Once the door is opened to treat some lives different than others, there is nothing holding that line in place. It is all arbitrary.
Five state governments have now taken on the power of determining when a person's life is of such little value that suicide, with the state's blessing, is promoted. To see where this road can lead, we only need to look at the Netherlands and elsewhere, where the practice of euthanasia is decades old.
Consider the implications of Sanders' dream of government-controlled healthcare with healthcare being a "human right." Unlike the right to own property, which is limited by availability and personal finances, Sanders' healthcare right is being sold with no such limitations. Government will pay for everything. Yet raising taxes enough to cover unlimited access to healthcare will never be politically or economically viable. How will that right be reconciled with the reality of a limited budget?
Real pressures will force real solutions, and while suicide might start as an option for those whom government deems low-value, as pressures build, that option will turn into the "responsible" choice. What keeps the line from moving from the "terminally" ill to the disabled or any other group deemed to be more of a liability than an asset to the state? Who defines disabled? What about people who challenge the direction of the state or those who do not stick to "politically correct" scripts?
Giving government the awesome power to set value to human life undoes the very concept of unalienable human rights. Rights become totally at the will of those wielding government power. Government can do no wrong because government is the definer of right and wrong. There is no higher authority. The concept of innocent until proven guilty and due process are a façade, used when it serves those in power, and otherwise disregarded. There no longer is a rational case for the Second Amendment. Government is supreme and we made it that way by elevating the state above individual human life.
While the limited-government case against legalized abortion is solid, getting to that point from where we are is no small task. It requires a fundamental cultural shift toward valuing the individual person regardless of his or her station in life. While government can force behavior to a large extent with its use of force, it cannot move hearts and a cultural shift is truly a heart shift. A heart shift comes from the free market place of ideas.
Political campaigns and debates, like where Sanders expressed his confusion, can be a great place to stir deeper thinking. But the level of change needed requires all of us that value human life to help those within our sphere of influence better understand how elevating government above individual human life truly undermines all human rights.
If you would like to publish a guest blog on The Family Foundation website, please email Sean Maguire at email@example.com.
Sexual Abuse Double Standard?Nov. 05, 2018
Last week Attorney General Mark Herring announced that his office was launching an investigation into potential child sexual abuse and cover up in the two diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in Virginia.
The Family Foundation applauds law enforcement and the Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in Virginia for committing to fully investigate all claims and to ensure that children are kept safe.
Anyone who abuses a child should be reported to law enforcement and punished to the full extent of the law. It is good to know that Attorney General Herring will have the support of the two Bishops in Virginia as he undertakes this investigation into sexual abuse within that religious institution.
While it is great that he is investigating child sexual abuse in this case, we want to know why he refused to investigate child sexual abuse when it was connected to the abortion industry.
Why did Attorney General Mark Herring release an advisory opinion four years ago telling the medical community that they do not have to report sexual abuse of minors?
His opinion then was that no report of the sexual abuse needed to be made by nurses who knew that a 14-year-old girl was pregnant. Even though he admits that a 14-year-old who is pregnant is proof positive that a “Class 4 felony” has been committed against her, he didn’t seem to think reporting that abuse was important in those cases.
Instead of vigilantly pursuing justice for these young girls who have been sexually abused, Attorney General Herring was content to let their stories disappear. Why was he less gung-ho to investigate sexual abuse back then?
Perhaps it was because these cases were coming out of the abortion industry.
Back in 2014, the Attorney General narrowly interpreted the meaning of the law so that sexual abuse cases in the abortion industry wouldn’t come to light.
What is the difference between the question in 2014 and the question today? Perhaps the horrific account of abuse within the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania made a difference?
Wouldn’t the horrific account of children being murdered in an abortion clinic in Pennsylvania also make a difference?
Attorney General Herring is right to be concerned about child sexual abuse. It is right for law enforcement to investigate possible abuse.
We urge him to not only investigate the Catholic Church, but the abortion industry as well.
All children should get protection from the law. They should never be sent back from an abortion to suffer sexual abuse in lonely isolation.
Attorney General Herring was wrong in 2014. We hope he’ll change his mind.