Virginia Governor Amends Unborn Victims Bill to Support Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
April 20, 2004
Richmond, VA (LifeNews.com) — Virginia Governor Mark Warner didn’t veto the unborn victims bill, but he damaged it by attaching an amendment that backs legal abortion. Now it is up to the state legislature to remove the provision from the bill before giving it final approval.
Sponsored by state Sen. Kenneth Stolle (R) and state Del. John Cosgrove (R), the legislation, like the federal bill recently signed into law by President Bush, allows prosecutors to hold criminals accountable when they kill or injure an unborn child in the course of an attack against the baby’s mother.
But Warner, a Democrat, attached an amendment to the Virginia bill saying, "Nothing in this
section is intended nor shall be construed to limit a woman’s rights as recognized by the Supreme Court of the United States in Roe v. Wade."
"Opponents of this bill have argued that it may be an attempt to chip away at a woman’s right to choose recognized by the Supreme Court. Supporters have denied that the bill has anything to do with abortion," the governor said in a statement. "My proposed amendment should resolve that debate to the satisfaction of both sides."
However, pro-life advocates are unhappy with the change and lawmakers are looking to remove it from the bill. They will vote on Wednesday whether or not to keep the changes Warner added.
A majority vote is needed to remove the pro-abortion provision. The unborn victims bill passed in the state House 77-22 and in the state Senate on a 29-11 vote.
"The Governor politicized the bill by adding an amendment affirming the Roe v. Wade decision," Victoria Cobb of the Family Foundation, a pro-life group, said. "HB 1, in and of itself, is no threat at all to Roe v. Wade, and the Governor knows it."
"The General Assembly members should vote their consciences and reject this purely symbolic amendment," Cobb added.
ACTION: Contact members of the Virginia legislature at (800) 889-0229 to express your opinion on whether or not to remove the pro-abortion provision from HB1.