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Those who are pro-life are engaged in a long-term strategy in Virginia and beyond

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Those who reside in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area are aware that the Washington Post’s criticism of pro-life Congressional Republicans is considerable. However, the newspaper’s treatment of Virginia pro-lifers is even more severe. The bias is so pervasive that it is likely that the reporters and editorial page writers are unaware of the one-sidedness of their coverage.

This brings me to an amusing anecdote that appeared in the Post on Sunday under the headline, “Va. bill to restrict abortion fizzled. Here’s why abortion foes are oddly upbeat.”

The bill referred to by Post reporter Jenna Portnoy as having “fizzled” is the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This legislation would prohibit the termination of an unborn child who is capable of experiencing pain as they are torn apart. This maturation occurs by 20 weeks or five months post-fertilization, if not earlier.

To her credit, Portnoy presents a compelling argument for why pro-life advocates remain undeterred by their inability to achieve legislative success this session. Her explanation can be summarized into four key points.

State Del. David A. LaRock (R-Loudoun) introduced the measure for the second consecutive year. Portnoy quotes LaRock as saying:

“I really believe when people on either side of the aisle realize what this bill is about, we’ll come together and just say this can’t be done in a society that has regard for human life,” said LaRock, who teared up during an interview as he spoke of his 15 children and grandchildren. “So that’s why I’m passionate about it.”

Ultimately, he consented to suspend the bill for a year. Nevertheless, the endeavor demonstrates that the Republican Party’s dedication to the matter has not diminished since their unsuccessful 2012 endeavor to mandate vaginal ultrasounds, which resulted in Virginia becoming a national laughingstock.

Those who are pro-life are encouraged by two factors. First, the Republican Party has committed itself to advancing this bill. Second, as LaRock observed, once the truth makes its way past the media filter, people of good will will agree that it is a humane action to take. Polling data supports this conclusion. As Portnoy observed,

A 20-week ban on abortion is supported by a majority of the public, as evidenced by a national Quinnipiac Poll conducted in November 2014. The poll found that 60% of respondents favored a 20-week abortion ban, including 76% of Republicans, 46% of Democrats, and 56% of independents.

Third, in 2018, an election will be held to select the successor to Governor Terry McAuliffe (D), a self-professed “brick wall” against limits on abortion. McAuliffe is, in fact, a pro-abortion extremist by any criteria. Portney correctly characterizes pro-lifers’ strategy as “playing a long game.”

Olivia Gans, president of the Virginia Society for Human Life, a state affiliate of the National Right to Life campaign, stated that it took advocates approximately 20 years to pass a parental-consent law in Virginia. She expressed hope that, when a pro-life governor is in office, the [Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act] will be passed and signed into law.

Furthermore, Del. Charniele L. Herring (D-Alexandria) asserted that the 20-week ban was a direct replication of previous strategies employed by the same party. She informed Portney that this was not the first time such a proposal had been put forth, and that it was being taken seriously.

Indeed, those who are pro-life, both in Virginia and across the nation, are determined to pass legislation that would prohibit these abortions, whether during this session or at a later date.

Those who are pro-life are characterized by their unwavering commitment to their beliefs.


Daniel Miller is responsible for nearly all of National Right to Life News' political writing.

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Daniel Miller developed a deep obsession with U.S. politics that has never let go of the political scientist. Whether it's the election of Joe Biden, the midterm elections in Congress, the abortion rights debate in the Supreme Court or the mudslinging in the primaries - Daniel Miller is happy to stay up late for you.

Daniel was born and raised in New York. After living in China, working for a news agency and another stint at a major news network, he now lives in Arizona with his two daughters.

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