By Olivia Gans Turner, President, Virginia Society for Human Life (VSHL)
The New Year has started, and we find ourselves facing a truly alarming Session with pro-abortion forces having control of both Chambers of the General Assembly and the Governor’s mansion. There is no doubt that their plan is to attempt to strip out every pro-life law on the books in Virginia and to pass some astoundingly sweeping bills that will prevent Virginians from ever passing new protective laws that would save the lives of helpless unborn children!
Is there anything that we can do? Well, the most important thing to do is to make noise! Pro-life people have a duty to raise their voices right now at the start of the new session to make sure that every member of the General Assembly has heard us speaking out for those who cannot!
One of the most effective tools, after voting, that everyone has that can affect change in legislative matters is to stay in contact with your legislators. Pro-life members of the General Assembly will need to hear messages that give them support. Pro-abortion members need to be told that their constituents are watching what they do this year. They must not think we have given up!
There will be bills to strip away Virginia’s parental consent law, the reasonable 24-hour waiting period before an abortion, and the hard-won ultrasound law. There may well be more radical bills introduced in the next day or so, but these are all horrible bills that are already introduced!
This year there are also three separate bills to pass the pro-abortion so-called Equal Rights Amendment. Two were introduced in the Virginia Senate, SJ 1 and SJ 5, and another in the House of Delegates, HJ 1. It seems tragically likely that the ERA will be passed this year, but you can make your phone call or send your email this week to guarantee that if it happens, pro-lifers made their voices heard! For more information about the ERA please go to this link.
You can, and you should, call your Delegate and Senator today to voice your opposition! There is every chance the vote will happen in the first few days of the 2020 session.
What else can you do?
What about gathering a few pro-life friends, family, or people from your church and making a road trip to Richmond during January to be seen and heard! If you are concerned about these radical pro-abortion bills, then nothing makes as big an impression as taking the time to visit your delegate and state senator in their office in Richmond during the Session.
Don’t worry about gathering a large group. Keep it small; three or four concerned constituents dropping in all through the session, particularly in the month of January, before too many bills come up, will make a huge impression.
Bring your children — what a great educational experience for preteen or teen! The best times to visit offices are between 9:00 am and 11:00 am Monday through Friday, and between 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm Monday through Thursday. (Many legislators leave town early on Fridays for trips home.)
VSHL’s team can help you make an appointment if you need help, but if you are planning to come on your own please let the office in Richmond know. We will be able to send you talking points on bills that are coming up soon and help you speak confidently to your legislators. Our lobbying team will be delighted to greet you at the Capitol!
Soon we will be able to connect you to the new legislative alert connection on the VSHL website. We are hopeful that this new feature will help you spread the word to your friends and help engage more pro-life folks in the effort to save lives.
Virginia March for Life in Richmond on February 13, 2020
Remember to mark your calendar so you can join us in Richmond at the midway point in this year’s General Assembly session. We hope that we can create the crowd we had last year and remind all our elected officials that we will not be silenced or sent away empty. We are here for the long term. We will not stop until every innocent human life is fully protected under the law. Watch emails for more info.