Virginia House Approves Fetal Pain Abortion Bill, Pro-Life Budget Amendments

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 13, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Virginia House Approves Fetal Pain Abortion Bill, Pro-Life Budget Amendments

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 13
, 2009

Richmond, VA ( — The Virginia state House has approved a bill to tell women of the pain a baby feels during a later-term abortion. The idea behind the bill is to help persuade women of the humanity of the unborn child and at least provide the baby with anesthesia if she plans to continue with the abortion.

Delegate Ben Cline, a Republican from Amherst, patroned the bill and the full state House approved it on Friday.

"House Bill 2634 would amend Virginia’s informed consent laws to provide a woman with additional information about the ability of the unborn child to feel pain after 20 weeks of gestation," Cline’s legislative aide told Capital News Service.

"(The bill) would also give the mother the option of anesthetizing the baby before the abortion is performed," the staffer added.

Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business, opposes the bill and they claim it requires abortion practitioners to distribute medically inaccurate information even though leading researchers have confirmed fetal pain exists.

Chris Freund, vice president of policy and communication for the Family Foundation, a statewide pro-life group, told CNS that he’s glad the legislature approved the bill.

"We support the idea of providing a woman who is contemplating an abortion with all the information concerning the development of her unborn child," he said. "Part of that information, we believe, should be about the possibility that … an unborn child feels pain."

Freund added that he is concerned a Senate committee will derail the bill.

"It’s doubtful the bill will pass the Senate Education and Health Committee," Freund said. "If we can get it to the floor of the Senate, it’s going to pass, but the Education and Health Committee has been the barrier to getting this type of legislation to the floor."

Meanwhile, the state House voted to add pro-life riders to its budget. The House included a language amendment that raises the safety standards at Virginia’s abortion centers.

The Family Foundation tells that an amendment submitted by Delegate Bob Marshall defunding Planned Parenthood passed 61-28.

"During this decade, Virginia taxpayers have unknowingly sent nearly $500,000 to one of the most partisan organizations in our nation, Planned Parenthood. This pro-abortion organization has an annual budget nationally of more than $1 billion. Particularly in these difficult times, we should not be asking the citizens of Virginia to send their hard earned money to this group," the pro-life group said.

Another amendment, also submitted by Delegate Marshall, prohibits the use of taxpayer funding of abortions.

In 2006 and 2007, Virginia tax dollars funded 322 abortions (160 in fiscal-year 2007, and 162 in fiscal 2006)

"Federal government subsidizes abortions only when a Medicaid-eligible woman’s life is at risk or in the cases of rape and incest," the Family Foundation said. "In Virginia, we fund abortions beyond what is required by the Federal government. This extra funding should stop now."

An amendment sponsored by Delegate Kirk Cox, that prevents funding of destructive embryonic stem cell research, passed 79-21.

Also today, the House voted 61-36 to add to the budget policy language that raises the safety standards of abortion centers. Similar legislation has passed the House several times in recent years, only to be defeated in the Senate Education and Health committee.

Adding the language to the budget is a creative way to try to circumvent that committee.

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