Virginia General Assembly Update – Week 4
Many bills advanced this week. While some bills we support are moving forward, there was also alarming movement on four big threats.
Assisted suicide: Two bills that would legalize assisted suicide are rapidly moving forward in the Virginia General Assembly. This radical legislation must be stopped now. Click here to oppose SB 280 and HB 858!
Surrogacy commercialization: Legislation (HB 110) to legalize commercial surrogacy brokers passed the House 50-48. 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.”
Abortion shield bill: Senate legislation (SB 716) would shield abortion providers in Virginia from criminal or professional liability for violating other states’ pro-life laws. This VCC-opposed bill passed the Senate Education and Health Committee 9-6. A Senate floor vote is expected next week.
Contraceptive mandate: Senate and House legislation (SB 238 and HB 819) would require health plans to cover all drugs the FDA defines as contraceptives, including some drugs that can cause abortions. Opposed by the VCC, these bills passed out of committees this week by votes of 10-5 and 12-10, respectively.
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.