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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
A Person is a Person, No Matter How Many WombsOct. 31, 2018
In case you missed the news, a baby boy has been born after being carried in the wombs of two different women!
Stetson is the healthy baby boy who was born to Ashleigh and Bliss earlier this year. He was conceived using traditional IVF procedures, but then he was incubated inside Bliss’s womb before being transferred to the womb of Ashleigh, where he grew until birth.
The fertility experts who made this medical marvel possible call it Effortless Reciprocal IVF. It is being celebrated for creating more options to same-sex couples who want to have children.
Options. Our society now uses the word “options” to talk about how children can be made.
This kind of language treats children as commodities. It is dehumanizing. The language of “it” and “clump of cells” and “embryo” all treat unborn children as if they are not people, but just biological masses that have no value.
This dehumanizing language is at the center of the abortion mind set. If the unborn are not human, then abortion is not horrific. So the language used helps to avoid the conclusion that the unborn really are human beings.
News articles on this story frequently use the pronoun “it” to describe Stetson while in the womb. Yet these stories also celebrate the fertility breakthrough because “the same baby” was carried by two women.
Well, which is it? Was Stetson a baby while Bliss was carrying him, or was “it” an embryo?
The story of this remarkable fertility treatment undermines the entire narrative of the abortion industry. Stetson is a remarkable baby because he was inside of one woman’s womb before being transferred to a different woman’s womb. He was carried by both.
There wasn’t an embryo carried by one woman and a baby carried by another. Bliss carried Stetson when he was very small. Ashleigh carried him all the way until birth. Now both Bliss and Ashleigh take turns holding him in their arms.
Stetson is not a commodity. He is not an “it.”
The headlines get it right. Stetson is the first baby to be carried by two different women.
He was Stetson as an embryo while in the womb of Bliss, and he was still Stetson as he grew in the womb of Ashleigh. And he is still Stetson now.
Urging the Supreme Court to Overturn RoeOct. 26, 2018
A man in Alabama shot and killed his wife and unborn child. He admits that he killed his wife, but argues that he shouldn’t be held responsible for killing their child.
The jury of his peers did not listen to that argument, and convicted him of double-homicide under Alabama law. He was sentenced to death.
He appealed the decision all the way to the Alabama Supreme Court, arguing that the death penalty was inappropriate in the case because he only killed one person, not two. His argument was that the unborn child (being between six and eight weeks old) wasn’t viable, and shouldn’t be counted as a person.
Alabama’s law directly answers his objections. The Brody Act protects even “nonviable fetuses from homicidal acts.” This man’s murderous actions constitute double-homicide under Alabama law.
The Supreme Court of Alabama unanimously upheld the conviction and the sentence. One of the justices of that court went even further, calling on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Justice Parker agreed with the decision, and wrote a separate opinion to argue that Roe v. Wade must be overturned. He notes that the Brody Act protects all unborn children from homicide – except for in the case of abortion. He calls this the “Roe exception.”
Because of the Roe exception, the state cannot protect unborn children from abortion. Justice Parker says that this exception is “patently illogical.”
Justice Parker has urged the Supreme Court to reverse the Roe v. Wade decision, and to allow states to protect unborn children from abortion. Why can the law protect a child from a gun, but not from the forceps of an abortionist?
This powerful opinion from Justice Parker comes just weeks after Justice Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the United States Supreme Court.
Perhaps now is the time that Roe v. Wade will be overturned?
I join Justice Parker in stating that it is my hope and prayer that the Supreme Court will do so. I join him in this appeal to the Supreme Court to set things right by overturning Roe v. Wade.
You can also join Justice Parker in calling on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade by signing the online petition. Click here to tell the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The Roe exception is the last remaining obstacle to the states' ability to protect the God-given respect and dignity of unborn human life. I urge the Supreme Court of the United States to reconsider the Roe exception and to overrule this constitutional aberration. Return the power to the states to fully protect the most vulnerable among us. – Justice Parker, Concurring Opinion in the case of Jessie Phillips v. State of Alabama, 2018
Board of Health to Amend Rules for Abortion Centers . . . Again!Oct. 15, 2018
The abortion lobby is at it again. After years of regulatory efforts under the McAuliffe administration to significantly undercut the common-sense health and safety standards for abortion centers (which led to our ongoing lawsuit against the Board of Health after it broke the law repeatedly in the process), Ralph Northam’s administration has decided that his predecessor didn’t go far enough.
Earlier this month, the Board of Health published an official Notice of its intent to carve up the regulations governing abortion center standards even more. But the way it went about it is truly unprecedented. Unlike the normal process of specifying the types of changes a state agency intends to make to certain regulatory sections and then seeking public comment on them, the Board of Health has simply decided to leave the entire Chapter wide open to any and all changes that suit their fancy, based upon whatever their pro-abortion cohorts call for through public comments.
They have effectively set up a free-for-all smorgasbord of handouts to the abortion industry, in which the Board has given itself the boundless ability to do whatever it wants. While this latest stunt is probably unlawful, our experience reminds us that the law is no obstacle to the abortion-minded Board of Health. With a pending lawsuit that appears likely to overturn most of the Board’s previous changes to these very regulations, you would think they would eventually learn a lesson.
Nevertheless, this does present a prime opportunity to provide the Board of Health with recommendations for health and safety measures that will actually help protect vulnerable women and children and hold this notoriously shady industry to account.
It’s important that we make sure the pro-life, pro-women, pro-safety message is heard and well represented.
Follow this link to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall to leave your comment urging the Board of Health to implement strong health and safety measures that will protect vulnerable women and hold the abortion industry accountable. (See below for a list of suggestions.)
Years of inspection reports have produced evidence of hundreds of egregious safety violations inside these abortion centers. And most of those were reported under the McAuliffe administration’s own oversight. One abortion center was even closed down after Governor McAuliffe’s own Commissioner of Health suspended its license after a 70-page report of violations.
Virginia’s abortion facilities need more oversight, not less. Share your thoughts about this with the Board of Health today!
Here are a few changes we recommend the Board make:
Reinstate all of the health and safety measures the Board unlawfully watered down during its last amendment process.
Require all OLC inspections to verify that ultrasounds have been performed at least 24 hours prior to every abortion performed.
Require annual inspections on abortion facilities instead of biennial.
Remove the ability of the Commissioner to grant permanent variances.
Reinstate the definition of "first trimester" as being the first twelve weeks from conception, not "13 weeks and 6 days after last menstrual period."
Reinstate the ability of the department to deny, suspend, or revoke the license to operate an abortion facility for violating "any provision of Article 1 (§ 32.1-123 et seq.) of Chapter 5 of Title 32.1."
Reinstate the requirement that abortion facilities provide information on post-abortion counseling to its patients.
Reinstate the requirement that the abortion facility ensure that it has removed all of the fetal body parts from inside of the female patient upon the performance of an abortion.
Reinstate the requirement that abortion facilities report to OLC any incidents reported to the malpractice insurance carrier.
Reinstate the reasonable design and construction standards that provided for things such as hallways wide enough to carry patients out on stretchers in cases of emergency.
Planned Parenthood’s Stealth Accounting PracticesOct. 15, 2018
It is widely understood that Planned Parenthood’s primary funding source, close to $500 million, is derived from Medicaid reimbursements. Abortion supporters attempt to make the argument that, under the law, Medicaid reimbursements can only be used for “family planning” services. While that may be the case, it does allow Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers to divert funds otherwise used for family planning toward abortion services. It’s nothing short of devious accounting.
During the Medicaid expansion debate in Virginia this year, we warned legislators that Medicaid expansion and other grant programs would permit Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers to line their pockets with state funds in order to help them carry out their abortion practice.
Last month, the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood announced that it is planning to open a new abortion center in the East End of Richmond, which is projected to double the number of Richmond clients to 20,000 visits per year. In fact, the abortion provider has already purchased property and plans to invest upwards of $5 million in its renovation. The location of the new Planned Parenthood is in one of Richmond’s more impoverished areas, and will seek to exploit and misguide new Medicaid enrollees.
What gave Planned Parenthood incentive to establish a new abortion center in Richmond you might ask? Simple: Medicaid. In the Richmond Times Dispatch article announcing the new facility, the CEO of The Virginia League for Planned Parenthood, Paulette McElwain, stated that they were motivated by the General Assembly’s passage of expanded Medicaid coverage for low-income individuals.
In addition to expanded Medicaid, there have been two Planned Parenthood affiliates approved for the LARC pilot program, a two year, $6 million pilot program approved through the budget to provide long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs) to its clients.
While the Medicaid dollars and LARC grants will not fund abortions directly, it will allow Planned Parenthood to redirect non-Medicaid funding streams to support their primary mission – performing abortions. Money is fungible, and Planned Parenthood has learned how to cleverly use this to skirt federal and state laws in order to use taxpayer dollars to fund abortions.
Some states, most recently South Carolina, are taking direct action to thwart this devious accounting practice. This month the South Carolina House of Representatives voted to uphold the Governor’s line item veto of a budget measure that would have funneled about $15.8 million in state “family planning” funds to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. Last year the South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster also boldly issued an executive order disqualifying abortion facilities from being Medicaid providers (that executive order has been challenged in court by Planned Parenthood). Governor McMaster said in a statement: “[t]here are a variety of agencies, clinics, and medical entities in South Carolina that receive taxpayer funding to offer important women's health and family planning services without offering abortions.”
South Carolina has stood up to the powerful abortion industry and its lobbyists to cut off its funding, which ultimately support abortion practices. It is time for Virginia to do the same, and disqualify any health care clinics that carry out abortions from becoming eligible for Medicaid reimbursements.
As we unwrap Medicaid expansion that was delivered to Virginians through the biennium budget this year, we are now beginning to see some of our predictions related to the abortion industry come to pass. Nevertheless, we will remain steadfast and diligent in our defense of the unborn and the protection of all women who are being influenced by Planned Parenthood and its abortion cohorts.
America's Biggest Serial Killer and Our LawsuitOct. 11, 2018
Did you know that the most prolific and successful serial killer in American history was convicted and jailed for multiple life-sentences just five years ago? The Philadelphia man killed hundreds of victims over the course of a few decades without getting caught. He was finally caught after an unrelated drug investigation. He was convicted for the first-degree murders of five of his countless victims.
This story is shocking. It is horrific. And the major news media was all but silent as it happened.
Why were they silent? Because Dr. Kermit Gosnell was an abortionist and his victims were the survivors who were born alive in his abortion clinic.
Very few people know that America’s Biggest Serial Killer was an abortionist. NPR won’t even allow this fact to be printed.
Stories like this one remind us why the health regulations in Virginia are so important. This serial killer was only able to continue his decades-long killing spree because the State of Pennsylvania refused to regulate abortion clinics.
The Family Foundation is currently involved in a lawsuit to enforce Virginia’s abortion facility regulations which the McAuliffe administration unlawfully obliterated. We must enforce these regulations so that we never have a Kermit Gosnell in our Commonwealth.
This story needs to be told. And this weekend it is finally being told in movie theaters across the country.
I strongly recommend this movie, which I saw at a special preview showing, to you and your families. It is a courtroom drama that shows the failure of the government to protect innocent lives. This movie also strongly rebukes the mainstream media for their failure to report this sensational criminal trial as it was happening.
While the source material of the story is intensely emotional and disturbing, the filmmakers have done a great job to avoid any graphic content that would upset viewers. This movie will make you think, and it should make you angry about what we are doing in our society. Check your local theater listing to find a showtime and see this movie. The true story of the sordid work of the abortion industry enabled by the government and ignored by the mainstream media must be told.
The Family Foundation will tell this story and continue to hold our own government accountable to protect Virginians from killers like Gosnell. Thank you for your support.