By Dave Andrusko
Whatever their motivation may be, sometimes you can really be surprised by what a pro-abortion public official will do.
NRL News Today readers may recall that last month we reported on a lawsuit filed by a coalition of pro-abortionists, represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia that contended five Virginia laws on abortion are “burdensome and medically unnecessary.”
This put pro-abortion Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) on the spot. As Graham Moomaw of the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported, it forced Herring “to choose between defending state laws or siding with abortion-rights allies.”
Last Friday his office filed a motion to dismiss the suit. So why did he choose to defend the state laws–aside from the fact that’s his job?
Perhaps because “House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, had said he would consider hiring an outside lawyer in the case if Herring refused to take up the litigation on the state’s behalf.”
As Jurist reported, the five laws challenged by the Virginia League of Planned Parenthood and several abortion clinics around the state included requirements that
1. second trimester abortions must be performed in a hospital;
2. abortions must only be performed by a physician;
3. medical facilities providing more than four first trimester abortions per month must undergo strict licensing requirements;
4. patients must undergo an ultrasound and counseling 24 hours before an abortion, requiring them to make two trips to a clinic; and
5. abortion is a class 4 felony if the requirements are not followed.
“Many of the challenged laws are decades old, some of the challenged regulations are under active review, and plaintiffs make powerful arguments that certain other requirements warrant reconsideration by the Virginia General Assembly,” wrote Deputy Solicitor General Matthew R. McGuire. “But a federal courtroom is not the proper venue for debating the wisdom of these policies.”
The Virginia Society for Human Life (VSHL) said it “commends this action and agrees with the Attorney General that the appropriate place for legislative matters to be addressed is in the General Assembly where the will of the people can hold sway.”
VSHL “is pleasantly surprised that pro-abortion Mark Herring has done his job to defend the laws made by the General Assembly, despite his own support for abortion advocates in the past,” added Olivia Gans Turner, president of VSHL.
“VSHL also wants to extend our gratitude to the pro-life Republican leadership of the General Assembly for actively stepping up to protect these important laws and urging the Attorney General to do the right thing.”