By Olivia Gans Turner, President, Virginia Society for Human Life (VSHL)
We have all had a few days to stop and take stock of the elections two weeks ago. The outcome has only begun to send all the shockwaves that some of us anticipate come the opening of the 2020 General Assembly.
Pro-abortion bills popping up like poisonous mushrooms
More bills are being dropped every day. Among the new bills that have been introduced already is SB 21, patroned by Senator Dick Saslaw, to remove the requirement for parental consent before an abortion! It took close to 14 years to get this law in place and it saves babies’ lives and protects our daughters every year now.
The Threat is Real!
Our opponents aren’t wasting time. The first bill Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy introduced for the 2020 Session is the pro-abortion Equal Rights Amendment ( HJ 1). We know that they believe the public will not realize how dangerous this version of the ERA really is. We must make sure we educate our friends and make our voices heard with all the members of the General Assembly.
There are two more ERA bills introduced in the Senate: SJ 1, Chief Patron Sen. Jennifer McClellan, and SJ 5, Chief Patron Sen. Saslaw.
We oppose the ERA because it is being used in other states to force taxpayers to fund abortions and will threaten other pro-life laws. We want every woman protected under the law, including unborn girls! Learn more here.
Another bill would enshrine abortion as a right in the Virginia Constitution: SJ 2. The Chief Patron is Sen. Saslaw.
Soon we will ask you to go to the new VSHL website [https://vshl.org/] to send a message to your legislators in the General Assembly. VSHL will provide info about how to do that and what to say. Updates on legislation will be found there as the session, which begins in January, proceeds.
Finding the Positive
Still, this is not a time for pro-life Virginians to hang their heads or throw up their hands. Yes, we need to brace ourselves, but we also must look at the positive.
Pro-life people are being asked to hold the line at every level in Virginia. Most importantly the remaining pro-life members in the General Assembly have started to regroup and form the leadership team that will do all that is possible to defend Virginia’s pro-life laws. They will all need our support, encouragement and prayers.
Last weekend the Republican members of the House of Delegates met and selected their new leadership. Pro-life champion Del. Todd Gilbert, R-15, will be the new minority leader for the Republicans. Pro-life heroine Del. Kathy Byron, R-22, sponsor of multiple pro-life bills including the Virginia Ultrasound law, will become the Republican Caucus leader.
As the new Whip, Del. Jay Leftwich, R-78, a steadfast pro-life member, will round out the new leadership for the Republican pro-life minority. They will all need our help in the weeks ahead.
Here is the press release from the House of Delegates Republican Caucus.
Remember to stay in touch with your Delegate and Senator. Whomever won your local election, please reach out to him or her and introduce yourself as a constituent. We need to be seen and heard from throughout the upcoming session.
VSHL is already in touch with pro-life General Assembly members to consider how best to proceed at this point. We will find as many ways that we can to defend laws that are saving lives of unborn now. You and I will not be silenced. We are the voice for the voiceless unborn in Virginia.
We are depending on all of you to stay involved as we forge ahead in this new scenario in Richmond. We are confident that you will.