by Steven Ertelt
January 9, 2008
Richmond, VA (LifeNews.com) — Virginia pro-life organizations are pressing for legislation in the upcoming session to store funding for abstinence-only education programs eliminated by pro-abortion Gov. Tim Kaine. The organizations also want a bill that would help women know of the pain a baby feels during an abortion and others that would reduce abortions.
The Family Foundation, Virginia Society for Human Life and the Virginia Catholic Conference are working in conjunction on the measures.
The groups will once again support legislation that requires abortion centers to be regulated as outpatient surgery centers. Currently, abortion businesses are viewed by the state as doctor’s offices, with little or no safety standards.
"Because abortion is an invasive surgical procedure, these clinics should be more strictly regulated to protect the life and health of women who go there, often times under outside pressure," the Family Foundation told LifeNews.com in a statement.
Delegate Matt Lohr plans to introduce a bill to that effect.
Meanwhile, the pro-life groups are working with Delegate Kathy Byron to bring the Right to Know law up to date with modern technology.
Byron plans a bill to require abortion centers to perform an ultrasound to determine the precise age of the unborn child prior to the abortion. The pro-life groups argue it will protect the mother’s health and give her a chance to view the ultrasound — something that may likely change her mind about having the abortion.
Delegate Ben Cline is working with the groups on a third bill that would give women information about fetal pain. The materials in question will include the scientific evidence that unborn children can feel pain during a second or third trimester abortion.
The groups also want to ensure that Virginia taxpayers are not forced to fund experimentation using human embryos. They may work on legislation that would direct taxpayer funds to ethical alternatives.
Several other pro-life bills will be back during the legislative session such as criminalizing anyone that coerces a woman into an abortion, a bill that requires reporting of injuries due to botched abortions, and fixing loopholes in the state’s unborn victims law.
It is also likely that abortion advocates like Planned Parenthood will have initiatives that pro-life groups will work to defeat including legislation that would force pharmacists to dispense drugs that cause an abortion regardless of their religious objections.
Chris Freund, the Vice President of the group, told LifeNews.com he hopes pro-life advocates will be active during the legislative session to contact legislators and urge pro-life friends and family to do the same.