Action Center

Clear vision, vital goal, persistent engagement

A year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision restored the power to protect life from the moment of conception to the people and their elected representatives. As a result, many states have implemented laws that are saving thousands of preborn children.

More than half of the states, however, have few limits on abortion. Virginia is one of these states. Although our Commonwealth once had a number of good, life-saving provisions — enacted incrementally over decades — those protections were decimated over the course of just two General Assembly sessions, in 2020 and 2021.

At the Virginia Catholic Conference, we are resolutely committed to restoring policies that protect lives and ensure compassionate care and support for preborn children, their mothers and their families.

As our statement on last year’s Dobbs decision noted, “The outcomes we desire will take time and require increased and persistent engagement by Catholics across our Commonwealth. But the vision is clear and the goal is vital: We pray that one day every child — here and throughout our nation — will be welcomed in love and protected in law.”

Guided by this vision, we pressed forward during the 2023 Virginia General Assembly session by championing proposals to: restrict abortions; establish a website that would provide pregnant women access to information about life-affirming assistance; require physicians to provide information about alternatives and available resources to pregnant women who are considering abortion; protect babies born alive after an attempted abortion; stop the funding of abortions with state taxpayers’ money to the fullest extent possible under federal law; and create a state adoption tax credit. To see how your legislators voted on these issues, check out our 2023 General Assembly Recap at None of these proposals became law this year, but they will be back and so will we.

And so will countless constituents. Virginia Pro-Life Day drew thousands of people to Capitol Square in Richmond Feb. 1 to advocate, witness and pray for life. Many participants met directly with their legislators. We must continue to grow these numbers and amplify pro-life voices. This need is even more urgent because — in addition to good bills we’ll see again — harmful and dangerous proposals to expand abortion even further (thankfully defeated this year) are also expected to return. So much is at stake.

Together, let us continue to pray for the conversion of minds and hearts, and to advocate for life-saving laws. Protecting life in our laws and policies starts with each one of us. It is the essential work of faithful citizenship.


By Jeff Caruso, executive director of the Virginia Catholic Conference.

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This article originally appeared in the Arlington Catholic Herald on June 15th, 2023.

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