By Olivia Gans Turner, President, Virginia Society for Human Life (VSHL)
In an attempt to fix a dangerous and deadly portion of Virginia’s surrogacy laws, on Monday several pro-life state Senators rose on the floor to expose an ugly truth about the issue of surrogate motherhood in Virginia. The fact is that contracts dealing with surrogacy situations in Virginia allow the contracting couple to require that the surrogate mother get an abortion if the would-be parents for any reason want her to.
Reasons may include the sex of the baby or if the surrogate is carrying more babies than the couple wants.
An amendment to HB 1979 would have remedied the problem of the Commonwealth of Virginia actually participating in requiring a woman to have an abortion. Unfortunately, the floor amendment to HB 1979 failed on a voice vote. The rest of the bill passed.
The amendment, developed by VSHL’s legislative team, was offered by Sen. Mark Peake (R-22), who movingly shared his own personal family experience with the facts of a multiple birth, his own quadruplet children, and the pressure put on pregnant mothers to have an abortion. He spoke accurately to the very real dangers of vulnerable women in need of money being trapped into contracts that may require an abortion be performed.
Other Senators who added their powerful statements in support were: Sen. Dick Black (R -13), Sen. David Suetterlein (R-19), Sen. Glen Sturtevant (R-10), and Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant (R-12). Each of their comments helped to bring the unborn child to the forefront of this important debate and expertly highlighted the shocking fact that these surrogate contracts can legally force a woman to have an abortion!
It was the first time in over six years that the unborn child and the truth about a gruesome form of abortion was the centerpiece of a floor debate in Virginia’s Senate chamber. Thank you to everyone who voted for the amendment and to all who spoke in defense of these helpless children and the women who can be pressured, or even required, under the law to kill them!
The bill is now back in the House of Delegates due to other changes made to it in the Senate Committee. However, the amendment to prevent surrogacy contracts from requiring abortion cannot be offered again during this session, which ends Friday.
Please contact your delegate and ask him or her to support such an amendment in next year’s session.
The video of the Senate session that includes this debate can be found here. The debate starts at hour 1:45 and ends at hour 2:19.
Your phone calls, emails and personal visits with your elected representatives make a difference. So please contact your Delegate today!