This Week at the 2020 Virginia General Assembly--Week 3
Today is the March for Life in Washington, DC, and we stand with all who are showing their solidarity with the cause of protecting the unborn today in our nation’s capital! In Richmond, we are fighting hard for life, and against the aggressive push to expand abortion and even establish abortion as a fundamental “right” in state law. Here is what happened this week in Richmond and links to take action and have your voice heard:
Take action now to oppose House and Senate abortion bills! These bills would strip protections for the unborn from state law and make abortions more dangerous for mothers by:
- Removing parental consent for minors prior to an abortion;
- Allowing not only doctors but also physicians’ assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwifes to perform abortions;
- Eliminating requirements that abortions be performed in hospitals; and
- Removing requirements that an ultrasound be performed at least 24 hours before an abortion.
HB 980 was passed by a House committee on a vote of 12-9 on Wednesday, and SB 733 was passed by a Senate committee on Thursday on a vote of 9-6. Floor action in each chamber now awaits these two companion bills. Other bills still being considered in committee would make abortion a fundamental “right” under Virginia law (SB 635) and require that most health insurance plans cover abortifacients, contraceptives, sterilizations and even some surgical abortions (HB 526). Take action now against these extreme abortion measures!
Take action now to save religious liberty for faith-based adoption agencies! Yesterday, a subcommittee heard but did not vote on a bill that would end a law that protects the religious freedom of adoption and foster care agencies. Please continue to take action against this very harmful bill! Current law ensures that no agencies – including faith-based agencies that follow the teaching that marriage is between a man and a woman – are forced to participate in placements that violate their beliefs and moral convictions. We must keep this law in place and stop the repeal bill.
Take action now to stop legalized assisted suicide in Virginia! Government should prevent, not promote suicide. Yet HB 1649, introduced earlier this week, proposes to legalize assisted suicide in Virginia. No patient—whether disabled, mentally ill, elderly or otherwise—should ever be abandoned or discarded. Every person facing the end of life should have access to quality medical and palliative care—instead of drugs to hasten their death. Please urge your Delegate to oppose HB 1649.
Attend the VA March for Life on February 13! The bills listed above aren’t the only extreme abortion matters being considered by the Assembly this year. Other examples include:
- Requiring the state to pay for the abortions of Medicaid recipients.
- Requiring health insurance plans to cover abortions.
- Requiring health insurance plans to cover the entire cost of abortions.
Join us at the Virginia March for Life in Richmond on February 13. As you can see from the amount and types of extreme abortion legislation being considered this year, your participation is critical! Mass with Bishop Burbidge and Bishop Knestout will be held at the Richmond Convention Center at 9:15am before a rally and march at the State Capitol. You can also visit your legislators’ offices. Join us on February 13 to support justice for the unborn! For more information visit www.vacatholic.org.
In addition, register now to attend the fifth annual Virginia Vespers: Evening Prayer for the Commonwealth on March 5, hosted by Bishop Knestout, Bishop Burbidge and the Virginia Catholic Conference at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond. The liturgy begins at 5 p.m. and a reception follows. All are invited!
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In prayer and in public, your voices are urgently needed to bring Gospel values to bear on vital decisions being made by those who represent you.
~~~The Virginia Catholic Conference is the public policy agency representing Virginia’s Catholic bishops and their two dioceses.