Private PartsFeb 21, 2017
It was quite an interesting morning outside the Governor’s Mansion on Capitol Square today. Late yesterday Governor Terry McAuliffe’s office released his “Public Schedule” for the week:
You’ll note that his “Public Schedule” includes “Governor McAuliffe to act on legislation impacting womens health” at 9:45 am today at the Executive Mansion. Now, we are well aware that the so-called “progressive” left has some difficulty discerning what is public and private (see bathrooms), and we learned this morning that this apparently includes what constitutes a “public” event.
You see, several of us who wanted to see the Governor’s “public” activity showed up at the Mansion and tried to gain access. Only when we did we were informed that no, the event wasn’t “public,” it was private. Yet we watched as several people entered the event without showing any form of ID, so how the Capitol Police could distinguish between those invited to the public/private event is anyone’s guess. Perhaps it was the signs we were carrying that said things like “Defund Planned Parenthood” and “Planned Parenthood Lies” that made us undesirable.
So undesirable, in fact, that we were then informed that we couldn’t hold up our signs because we “didn’t have a permit.” This was a bit perplexing since we know that permits aren’t granted for any areas of Capitol Square with the exception of the area around the Bell Tower, far removed from the Capitol and the Executive Mansion; and this despite having witnessed numerous groups all session long being allowed to hold up signs wherever and whenever they pleased. We’ve watched Planned Parenthood apologists line the sidewalks of Capitol Square with their signs. Apparently, they are permitted to do that. In all fairness to the Capitol Police, they were just “doing what we’re told,” apparently by the administration, because we did hold up signs when we first arrived, but then we couldn't.
While standing outside the fence surrounding the Governor’s Mansion unable to hold up our signs, we were able to hear the Governor pontificate on how it is so important to have an “open and inclusive” Virginia where everyone feels welcome. While we were standing outside the fence. Barred from being welcome.
The Governor then very publicly (sort of) vetoed legislation that would have redirected taxpayer dollars away from Planned Parenthood toward real health clinics that offer comprehensive care for women. McAuliffe was joined at this public (oh, never mind) campaign rally by candidate for Governor Ralph Northam and candidate for AG Mark Herring.
For the second year in a row, the Governor celebrated vetoing a bill supported by 54 percent of Virginians; last year he did so at a Planned Parenthood abortion center. At least this year he did it in public/private/behind a fence.
Of Retirements and Vetoes
Of Retirements and Vetoes
Wednesday's one-day “Veto Session” at the General Assembly proved to go largely as expected, primarily along party lines, with the Governor’s legacy cemented as the most obstructionist executive in the history of the Commonwealth.
Since ascending to office four years ago, Governor Terry McAuliffe has vetoed a record 111 bills – with none being overridden by the legislature. A two-thirds majority of those present for the votes is necessary to override a veto, and with no Democrat courageous enough to go against the hysterical “progressive” base that demands nothing less than absolute devotion to its dogmas, overrides were impossible.
With the Governor’s vetoes of many common-sense bills, several of which protected life, rights of conscience, and parental authority, there was plenty for state legislators to consider as they voted. But the day began with the shocking retirement of 24 year House veteran and chairman of the House Courts of Justice committee, Republican Dave Albo. This came on top of the recently announced retirements of Richmond area Republican Delegates Jimmie Massie and Peter Farrell. With the retirement of Speaker of the House Bill Howell already announced, it’s clear the House of Delegates will take on an entirely new flavor next year. We appreciate all the work of Delegates Howell, Albo, Massie and Farrell, with whom we have worked on many issues over the years. They will all be missed.
After nearly two hours of farewell speeches, the House finally got down to business and began the process of reviewing the Governor’s vetoes and dozens of amendments to bills, including the state budget. The Senate methodically worked through its bills dealing with the Governor’s actions as well.
The good news was the House once again rejected the Governor’s repeated effort to expand Medicaid under the failed Obama “Care” government health insurance scheme.
No vote to override a veto showed the left’s dogmatic adherence more than the failure to override the veto on HB 2191, a bill from Delegate Steve Landes giving parents a say when schools want to teach sexually explicit material to kids. When the bill passed the House in February it received 74 votes, meaning several Democrats voted yea. But today, they fell in line with their party and voted with the Governor.
Also in the House, the veto of Delegate Nick Freitas’s HB 2025, which would protect religious charities and schools from government discrimination because of their beliefs about marriage, wasn’t challenged with a vote. However, Delegate Freitas correctly pointed out that in the Governor’s own reasoning for vetoing the bill, he made the argument that religious charities are protected by the first amendment and statute for religious freedom – which means the Governor essentially argued why his own Executive Order discriminating against religious charities is unconstitutional! Remarkably, the Governor’s explanation says, “I veto House Bill 2025, which would shield from civil liability those who actively discriminate against same-sex couples. I vetoed this exact same bill last year, and my rationale for that veto remains the same.” Except we amended the bill this year to remove the civil liability part, which means, of course, it isn’t the “exact same bill”, but apparently neither the Governor nor his staff actually read the bill! You just can’t make this stuff up.
Regardless, even though the House and Senate could not garner the votes necessary to overcome the Governor’s vetoes, our message was heard clearly in the General Assembly yesterday. And credit where credit is due, despite secular leftist and media hysteria on these bills, for the most part Republicans in the General Assembly stood their ground and voted correctly.
The frustrations over the Governor’s vetoes of common sense legislation that protects religious charities, unborn life, taxpayers and parents’ rights must now be translated into action. The next Governor of the Commonwealth will either carry on the obstructionist tradition or be a conservative leader who will side with a majority of Virginians and sign these key bills.
Which Governor that is will be up to you.
Rare Bipartisan Victory
Rare Bipartisan Victory
During a General Assembly session, The Family Foundation takes a position on over 100 pieces of legislation. We try to keep you informed on as many as we can, but often we will work on proposals that never get the attention they deserve.
Case in point is a bill that thankfully on Monday Governor Terry McAuliffe signed into law.
The proposal, HB 1709, requires schools notify parents if their child is involved in an incident of alleged bullying within five school days. Patroned by Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn (D-41, Springfield), the bill was amended during the process to give schools fourteen school days – or almost three full weeks – before having to involved parents. Let’s face it, Amazon can deliver packages to third world countries faster than that! We believe parents are the key to their children thriving and that parents should be informed, notified and included as soon as possible when their children are suffering from or being accused of bullying. Three weeks is far too long.
And while the education establishment always claims it wants to involve parents, they allege it’s just too hard or too expensive to quickly pick up a phone and call a parent. We disagree.
Virginia’s definition of bullying is such that it requires very serious, repeated acts. Bullying is a serious problem, and parents should be involved as soon as possible if their child is a victim. And, if their child is suspected of bullying, they should know they are being investigated by the school.
The bill ended up in a “conference committee” on the very last days of session, where a handful of negotiators from the House and Senate worked out the final five-day time period. We’re thankful to Delegate Filler-Corn for working with us on this important issue, and for those conferees for seeing the wisdom of involving parents.
Governor Terry McAuliffe spent Thursday celebrating the fact that he’s proven to be the most obstructionist Governor in Virginia history.
Earlier this morning, Hillary Clinton’s top cheerleader went live on air with WTOP radio to veto bills (SB 2314/HB 2025) that would have provided modest protections for pastors, churches, and peaceful religious organizations and schools by prohibiting the state from discriminating against them because of their religious or moral beliefs about marriage.
The vast majority of Virginians, nearly two-thirds according to polling by Mason-Dixon, believe that, at a minimum, religious entities should be able to hold traditional beliefs about the institution of marriage without facing retribution from the government. But once again, Governor McAuliffe sided with the radical LGBT lobby and the ACLU in claiming that protecting the faiths of countless churches, religious schools and religious organizations amounts to discrimination and even going so far as to say it equates to “demonizing people”, according to his official statement. The Governor, of course, is all too comfortable with demonizing anyone who happens to disagree with him!
In reality, these bills would have ensured that a religious charity couldn’t be denied equal access to state benefits because of its belief in traditional marriage – something the Governor is trying to do through his Executive Order 61 – and that Virginia students who attend Christian universities or colleges like Liberty, Regent or Patrick Henry wouldn’t be denied access to Virginia’s Tuition Assistance Grants because those schools have policies based on marriage between one man and one woman.
His vetoes were a record 90th and 91st of his term, but sadly, he wasn’t done. This afternoon, he announced the veto of several bills that would have advanced parental rights and provided more educational opportunities for Virginia families.
The Governor proudly vetoed HB 2191, which simply would have provided parents of public school students an opportunity to review and opt their child out of materials they find sexually inappropriate. You may remember that a similar bill met with fierce opposition last year from the education cabal in Richmond as well as the secular “progressive) left. This year, Delegate Steve Landes (R-25, Verona) narrowed the bill to define “sexually explicit” simply as things that are currently against the law under the criminal sexual assault statute, but that still wasn’t good enough for the Governor.
In addition, he vetoed bills which would create a full-time public virtual school option for up to 5,000 new students in Virginia, allowing them to choose, with no tuition, from over a dozen approved education providers. He also vetoed two bills that would allow two or three school districts to band together to form a regional charter school district where each district would have to have at least 3,000 enrolled students and at least one school that failed to be accredited for at least two of the previous three years.
The Governor once again sided with the antiquated, failing, one-size-fits-all education establishment against families and children who want more options and the freedom to choose the school that best fits their needs.
The reality: elections have consequences. Virginians have the opportunity to correct the McAuliffe error later this year. Advancing the values we cherish, like religious freedom, life and education freedom require a governor who not only shares our values but has the courage to fight for them. Four years of Terry McAuliffe’s contempt for the beliefs of a majority of Virginians are enough.
From Beginning to End
From Beginning to End
What does being “pro-life” really mean?
America it seems has turned the phrase “pro-life” into little more than a simple political stance on abortion.
But you and I realize that being pro-life is far more than a political bumper sticker or slogan. It’s a way of life that values human life at every stage. Today, I’m excited to announce a new Family Foundation campaign, “From Beginning to End.” This campaign is meant to remind us what we’re called to do as Christians when we decide that we are pro-life – that we would be pro-life from beginning to end.
From the first time you hear an unborn baby’s heartbeat until those last final days spent with a dying parent or loved one, each season of life, and everything in between, holds priceless value.
It’s clear that our culture has lost a deep respect for the value of human life. It’s time to reevaluate and become proactive in our comprehensive understanding of being pro-life.
Pro-life Americans are often accused of not caring about anything but the baby, but that’s another lie of our culture. But we know that there are more pregnancy centers helping women through an unplanned pregnancy by providing resources and support than there are abortion centers. We know that churches and ministries across America pour vast resources into helping vulnerable communities every single day, including facilitating adoptions and assisting in foster care for thousands.
But we also know that we can and we must do more.
Being pro-life means more of us must be praying for an unwed mother facing an unplanned pregnancy; it means more of us must volunteer at or donating to the local pregnancy center that is doing all it can to help that mother meet her financial and material needs so she’ll choose life; it means lending a helping hand when that baby is screaming while the pastor is preaching, and that young mother is craving God’s Word; it means that we follow up with that couple and ask if they need diapers or a babysitter to sit for free a few nights a week so that both of those kids, who are now parents, can get their GED or go to college.
This kind of care is pro-life. One must not be only supportive of the existence of their baby, but lend actual support to the parent's well-being, their joy and hope. One is pro-life when he/she joins another on their journey, and privilege of bringing new life into the world.
For some families, being pro-life means a willingness to be foster parents to an orphaned child or for a child whose family is in crisis; it's supporting the plethora of faith-based organizations that assist with foster care and adoption; it means supporting and fighting for the religious charities that serve vulnerable communities like the homeless or victims of domestic violence.
Being pro-life means taking dinner to the elderly widow in your church whose husband has passed and who now sits alone in her house just waiting for her time to come. It means that one shows her the love of Christ and values her opinion and thoughts. Do we love her? Listen to her, or take her out for a night on the town so she feels young again, and not alone? How do we value her life?
Being pro-life means that one is generous and supportive of the middle-aged couple that can never seem to get ahead in their finances and always seems to struggle. Can we feel the hopelessness in their life, the tension it creates in their marriage? Are we as a “pro-life” community watching them drown? Do we pray for them or treat them to dinner? Watch their kids for a night? Or maybe even use our contracting businesses to help with home repairs they can’t finance?
This campaign is a call to encourage everyone to consider how we define being pro-life. Are we comprehensively pro-life? Does our support inadvertently stop after the baby is born? Or do we continue to love people with the love of Christ in every season of their life?
At The Family Foundation, we want to lead Virginians be pro-life “From Beginning to End.” Every stage and season; every breath taken and every heartbeat is so important. We have to remind ourselves and each other to fight to restore lost hope, and lost relationship with Christ.
Jesus gave his life, so that we may have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
We must protect life “From Beginning to End.”
The Family Foundation has put together a campaign encouraging all of us to think about ways we can be pro-life “From Beginning to End.” Many you can do individually or through your church or another local ministry. There are also a few ways you can help us was we kick-off this campaign:
- Become a monthly donor of just $15.00 dollars a month or give a one-time donation of $25.00 and receive one of our Special Edition, “From Beginning to End T-Shirts”.
- Create a video or social media post sharing why you’re pro-life. Be sure to tag The Family Foundation and use the hashtag #frombeginningtoend.
- Go to The Family Foundation Action Facebook page, watch and share one of our #frombeginningtoend videos.
- Invite Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb to speak at your church about the great work The Family Foundation is doing.
- Join the Family Foundation’s new grassroots Regional Action Teams and see where you can make a difference!
Board of Health is at it again
Board of Health is at it again
Terry McAuliffe’s Board of Health just can’t seem to help itself. When it isn’t ignoring or violating the law, it’s contradicting itself. At least when it comes to the issue of abortion.
At what promised to be an uneventful meeting yesterday with little reason for conflict, the Board was again forced by one of its members to deal with the issue of abortion center safety standards.
One of the first actions by the Board came after one member made a motion to end what had become a staple of the meetings – the “Abortion Facility Licensure Status Report.” Unusual in that it was the only report of facilities licensed by the Department of Health that was required to be given at each meeting, staff usually gave vague data on “complaints” against facilities and rarely about what was found in inspections. Arguing for the motion, one member – a McAuliffe appointee – said they should end the reports because of “pending litigation” regarding actions by the Board. Another Board member responded that the litigation has nothing whatsoever to do with the reports.
Board members in favor of quashing the reports also argued that they didn’t want to “elevate” review of abortion centers over all the other health entities the Board regulates. In opposition, others argued that because public interest in the abortion center standards far exceeded its interest in any other action ever taken by the Board, the report seemed reasonable.
The arguments in favor of the reports fell on deaf ears, however, and the Board voted to end the reporting.
Ironically, it was those on the Board who were viscerally opposed to the health and safety standards for abortion centers who several years ago demanded that the report be given at each meeting! Now, those opposed to the standards argued and voted against the report. Originally, it was pro-abortion Board members who asked to “elevate” the notoriety of abortion centers over everything else, but now they oppose that idea. In other words, they were for it before they were against it.
Well, given the Board has eviscerated the standards to the point of making inspections nearly meaningless, one could see how there would be little reason for regular updates. At this point, public health inspectors who go into abortion centers can overlook bloody, unsterilized equipment, violations of state drug laws, untrained staff members who don’t wash hands between patients, and a host of other health threats since the Board determined those standards to be too onerous for poor, poor abortion centers.
Then again, outside of writing these kinds of violations on an inspection report and then accepting what amounted to little more than pinky promises from abortion centers that they’d “do better next time,” it’s not like the Department of Health held abortion centers accountable anyway.
The action by the Board really is just another effort to allow abortion centers in Virginia to once again hide behind a veil of politically motivated secrecy. Terry McAuliffe’s Board of Health has done all it can to single abortion centers out from being held to the same standards as other similar medical facilities, and now it wants them to go back to operating in the dark.
Our goal is to make that as difficult as possible! That’s why we’re supporting the lawsuit against the McAuliffe administration’s blatant disregard of the law in its zealous effort to roll back abortion center standards. Learn more about the case and how you can help here.
But that’s not all we have planned. More on that in the coming months…
"it's a person, it's killing"
"it's a person, it's killing"
Governor Terry McAuliffe this week was honored by the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood for his aggressive obsession with ensuring more women have abortions while receiving fewer other medical services at the $1 billion business’s four Virginia abortion centers.
Now, that’s not exactly how they phrased it, but that’s the reality. You see, about the same time the Governor was getting all that love from Virginia Planned Parenthood, the national abortion industry giant was releasing its annual report – a few months later than normal. The report revealed that while the number of abortions performed at its abortion centers increased last year, the number of other “services” provided continued to decline, all while the entity received an increase in taxpayer funding, amounting to a tidy profit for the “non-profit” of around $59 million.
Oh, and it once again performed zero – zero! – Mammograms, despite continuing rhetoric by the abortion industry to the contrary. And the pre-natal care its CEO touted while defending it taxpayer subsidizing? A nearly 50 percent decrease. (You can learn more about this deception here.)
Of course, I doubt that the McAuliffe-honoring “ceremony … at the Glave Kocen Gallery in Richmond” included a showing of the recently released video of a Planned Parenthood representative discussing on a panel about baby “heads that get stuck” and the “hemorrhages that we manage” while admitting, “Given that we actually see the fetus the same way, and given that we might actually both agree that there’s violence in here. . . . Let’s just give them all the violence, it’s a person, it’s killing, let’s just give them all that.” Or other abortion industry representatives gruesomely discussing “the challenges of removing legs and breaking small skulls, and laugh[ing] over surprising moments of their practice, like ‘when an eyeball just fell down …and that is gross!’”
Or, as reported by The Daily Signal:
Then again, with this kind of inhumane, diabolical attitude that permeates the secular left, perhaps that was the over-dessert conversation with the Governor. Perhaps the Governor found the describing of the tearing apart of defenseless human beings a barrel of laughs. Certainly, the people he chooses to be honored by, receive money from and spend time with find it all very humorous.
Make no mistake about the power that Planned Parenthood holds over our government. A “Republican” Congress has yet to fully defund it; the Democrat party has made it clear that it welcomes no one who doesn’t bow to it; the courts have attacked free speech by ordering videos that expose the organization (and entire abortion industry) to be removed from public domains such as YouTube; all this while media acts as its unpaid PR firm.
But know this: we aren’t intimidated by nor will we ever stop fighting Planned Parenthood. We will work with our national allies to do all we can to continue to expose it and the rest of the abortion industry; we will push back against any governor or government that seeks to take your hard earned taxpayer dollars to prop it up; we will push lawmakers to defund it of those dollars; and we will continue to fight for the protection of unborn human babies from the violence of Planned Parenthood and Terry McAuliffe.