Virginia General Assembly Update – Week 3
In this third week of the Virginia General Assembly session, bill hearings continued at a rapid pace and sometimes went late into the evening. We testified on a diverse array of topics – including life, religious liberty, healthcare, child safety, and reducing gun violence. We have been especially focused on two big threats – assisted suicide and commercialized surrogacy – that are gaining momentum.
Assisted suicide: Tragically, the threat of assisted suicide legalization moved a step forward yesterday when the Senate Education and Health Committee passed SB 280 in an 8-6 vote. The next stop for this harmful and deadly bill is the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee. We also expect a House subcommittee to hear the House companion bill (HB 858) very soon. It is urgent that you click here to take action on our assisted suicide alert if you have not done so already. It is also very important to share our alert far and wide. Thank you for doing all you can to ensure your legislators know that you strongly oppose this legislation!
Surrogacy commercialization: Introduced legislation (HB 110) attempts to legalize commercial surrogacy brokers, thereby allowing paid “brokers” to recruit surrogates or connect intended parents with surrogates. The House Courts of Justice Committee advanced this bill in an 11-10 vote (link not yet available). We oppose this exploitive practice. In a statement earlier this month, Pope Francis called surrogacy “a grave violation of the dignity of the woman and the child, based on the exploitation of situations of the mother’s material needs.” “A child,” he emphasized, “is always a gift and never the basis of a commercial contract.”
Virginia Pro-Life Day: Please plan to join thousands of pro-life advocates from across the state for Virginia Pro-Life Day on February 21 in Richmond. Meet with your legislators in the morning to urge them to protect life instead of expanding abortion. Then join the rally and march for life at the state capitol. Learn more and register at www.vaprolifeday.org.
Pregnant and need help? Click here to find pregnancy resources offered by our two dioceses.
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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.