Virginia Panel Kills Pro-Life Bills As Videos Draw Attention

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 4, 2011   |   7:59PM   |   Richmond, VA

As videos featuring four different Planned Parenthood centers engaged in assisting alleged sexual traffickers in getting abortions for underage girls, the Virginia legislature has killed a package of pro-life bills designed to protect women and unborn children.

As it has in previous years, the Virginia state Senate Education and Health Committee killed bills that would give legal status to “unborn children,” help women find abortion alternatives and regulate abortion centers.

The bills included Senate Bill 1202 to ensure health insurance companies under Obamacare can’t pay for abortions with taxpayer dollars, Senate Bill 1207 would have protected unborn children, Senate Bill 1217 would have help stopped forced and pressured abortions, and Senate Bill 1435 would have given women the chance to see an ultrasound of their unborn child before an abortion.

Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw, a Democrat, led the effort to kill the bills and the votes to defeat them ran almost entirely along party lines. with Democrats opposing the pro-life bills and Republicans supporting them.

The Virginia chapter of the ACLU, NARAL and Planned Parenthood banded together to oppose the legislation, while representatives of the Family Foundation, Americans United for Life and the Virginia Catholic Conference supported them along with the Virginia Society for Human Life.

“Women seeking termination of their pregnancy are not given all the facts of the procedure,” Dr. John Kuda, a radiologist told the panel about the ultrasound bill, according to the Richmond Times Dispatch newspaper.

“It gives a woman the opportunity to make an informed choice,” said Sen. Ralph Smith, a Republican who backed the bill.

Jeff Caruso, executive director of the Virginia Catholic Conference, talked about the insurance bill and said, “People should not be forced to pay for other people’s abortions, especially when we’re talking about public dollars.”

The state Senate panel will eventually consider House-passed legislation and ill likely defeat the bills the House approved.

The Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee of the House of Delegates endorsed abortion center regulations bill on a 15-6 vote today. The legislation requires abortion facilities to meet the same standards as legitimate outpatient surgical centers. Right now, the abortion centers are only regulated in the same way as doctors’ offices where surgical procedures are not performed.