By Olivia Gans Turner, President, Virginia Society for Human Life (VSHL)
In a powerful showing that pro-life Virginians will not stand by while pro-abortion forces in the new General Assembly pass bills that only protect abortionists, concerned citizens gathered on the Capitol steps last Thursday. Pro-lifers marched around Capital Square in opposition to bills that pro-abortion legislators are passing that place pregnant women at the mercy of the abortion industry,
[For photos of this historic day, go to www.facebook.com/Virginia-Society-for-Human-Life-117856828270138.]
Pro-life people braved a rainy day to be seen and heard by legislators determined to rip away every reasonable protective pro-life law in the Commonwealth. Over a dozen bills were introduced this session that either attacked a current pro-life law or expanded an abortion agenda.
Some pro-abortion bills were set aside until 2021. These bills include a potential resolution that would make the so-called right to abortion a part of Virginia’s Constitution and a bill that would force businesses and non-profits with ethical objections to pay for abortion under their insurance plans.
The attendees at the Rally and March know that pro-abortion forces are not finished with their plan to make Virginia another New York.
The focus of this year’s March for Life was recent vote to strip out Virginia’s rational “Women’s Right to Know” informed consent law. The law, passed in 2001 and amended to include an ultrasound requirement in 2012, allowed women to receive factual information provided by the Virginia Department of Health. This information gave women information about the development of their unborn child, risks from abortion techniques, services available to carry their child to term and their legal rights if they were in an unsafe situation.
Earlier in the session, the pro-abortion ERA was also passed leading to a new fight in the courts.
The speakers at the event drew from the experiences of women and how they were or would be affected by the pro-abortion laws or the lack of protective law.
Destiny Kuhlman told the huge crowd about her two-year old son who is alive today because of the required ultrasound and waiting period that let her make a different decision than abortion. Seeing her son’s heartbeat on the screen gave her the strength to give him life.
Chandra Jarrett spoke about the two abortions she had before informed consent laws were in place. She spoke poignantly about the children she lost because she was not told the basic facts about her pregnancy and risks to her health that would follow.
Eileen Roberts spoke about the need to protect Virginia’s Parental Consent law that requires parents to be informed before their minor-aged daughter can have an abortion. An effort to remove that critical protection was dropped this year but will likely be attempted next year.
Senator Steve Newman and Delegate Kathy Byron, patron of the ultrasound law, both spoke powerfully about having helped pass these important laws. They acknowledged the new dangers to Virginia women and their babies when the law protects abortionists first.
“Pro-abortion Democrats received millions of dollars from abortion groups like Planned Parenthood and NARAL. Now they have debts to pay back.
The mothers and their unborn children of Virginia will be the victims of this agenda. This is just the beginning,” said Olivia Gans Turner, president of the Virginia Society of Human Life. “Elections have consequences. Pro-life voters must not forget what is happening now and must commit to voting for pro-life legislators in every election.”