Virginia Is Headed in the Wrong Direction on Abortion

Posted: Feb 20, 2021 12:01 AM
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Virginia Is Headed in the Wrong Direction on Abortion

Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

If we are truly dedicated to fighting for the voiceless, we must effectively speak so others recognize that all human beings are a special and unique gift from God. That begins in our commonwealth.

One way to best protect unborn Virginians, as I have suggested doing while running to be the next Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, is by passing a Human Rights Protection Act, which prevents abortions after a heartbeat is detected. Thanks to Donald Trump, an unabashedly pro-life president, hundreds of conservative federal judges have been appointed. There’s no better time to advance pro-life legislation.

Our rights come from God. The right to life is not something we can take away. Democrats are determined to do just that, though. Virginia can be a leader in protecting the most important human right, the right to life. To do that we must recognize and fight back against abortion extremism in our own backyard. 

Governor Ralph Northam will almost surely sign SB 1276 into law, which passed along party lines. Such legislation repeals bans of abortion coverage for carriers on state health exchange plans. The ramifications of insurance plans covering elective abortions cannot be underscored. Ultimately, taxpayers will be funding elective abortions, including those performed for any reason. 

This isn’t the first repeal. In 2020, Virginia passed a law repealing commonsense abortion regulations, which included ambulatory surgical center standards for abortion clinics, a 24-hour waiting period, informed consent, and an ultrasound before an abortion. This repeal also allows physicians assistants, nurse practitioners, and midwives--meaning non-doctors--to perform abortions. 

Our sitting Lieutenant Governor, Justin Fairfax, was the tie-breaking vote to send this legislation to Gov. Northam to sign. If I’m ever called upon to vote on this important issue, I know I’ll only ever vote on the side of life. 

Gov. Northam in part claimed “The Reproductive Health Protection Act will make women and families safer,” spoken like a politician beholden to the abortion industry, rather than the safety of women and their children. 

During a 2019 interview, Gov. Northam made comments which should shock the conscience of all Americans. Our sitting governor casually advocated for infanticide when mentioning that if born alive from an abortion, “the infant would be kept comfortable” and only “resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired.” This is a man who in response tweeted “I have devoted my life to caring for children.”

With such a blind commitment to furthering an abortion agenda, Northam dupes Virginians, as other abortion advocates do. 

In celebrating SB 1276, Ms. Magazine called this legislation “an important sign” as “Virginia will be the first southern state to lift the ban on the state-run health exchange providing abortion coverage.”

NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia remarked that, should this legislation become law, “Virginia will be the first Southern state to repeal this kind of restriction and make history again for the Commonwealth... “ 

Last year’s repeal of regulations was similarly hailed. NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia also opined on the Reproductive Health Protection Act in that the repeal “will ensure that Virginia becomes a safe haven for abortion access in the South.”

State Sen. Jennifer McClellan, who sponsored the legislation, noted the repeal “makes Virginia the first state in the south to proactively protect a woman's access to abortion care and reproductive health.”

In “The Biggest Issues to Watch in 2021,” Governing.com included Virginia as one of those states which “expanded access to abortion in recent years.”

The Center for Reproductive Rights, in its 2020 legislative wrap-up, applauded the repeal as a “huge step forward for pregnant people in Virginia.”

It’s no wonder then that Virginia ranked 32 of 50 states in the Life List from Americans United for Life.

Clearly, this is a wake-up call to prevent what we don’t want Virginia to become. 

The road ahead to make Virginia safer for the unborn may be long and difficult, but that only means we must strengthen our efforts to protect the most vulnerable. The time to take on that challenge is now. 

We cannot afford to let our commonwealth become a haven for unfettered abortions. Virginians, especially unborn ones, deserve better.