The Virginia General Assembly is considering legislation to expand abortion access and repeal life-saving pro-life laws. Radical pro-abortion legislators have been advocating for expanded access to abortion in the fear that Roe v. Wade will soon be overturned. After pro-abortion Democrats gained control of the Virginia General Assembly, they wasted little time in targeting the state’s pro-life laws.
On January 28, 2020, Virginia’s House of Delegates passed House Bill 980, a bill which expands the list of medical professionals who can commit abortions during the first trimester to include physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and certified midwives. This bill also removes the 24-hour waiting period requirement, a requirement that women seeking abortions be given an opportunity to view an ultrasound, and a requirement that medically accurate information regarding the procedure be provided to the woman seeking an abortion.
Not to be outdone by the Virginia House of Delegates last week, the Virginia State Senate passed a companion bill, Senate Bill 733. State Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) described the urgency of passing these bills by arguing that existing pro-life laws somehow inhibit women from controlling their bodies and easily ending the baby’s life.
The sad reality is that these bills will do more than expand abortion—they will actually make the procedure even more dangerous. By eliminating the ultrasound requirement, abortions will become more unsafe by removing the crucial step of allowing the physician to clearly see the unborn child in the womb. Furthermore, repealing the requirement that the woman be given medically accurate information opens the door to women being denied critical information about their pregnancies.
In addition, the dangers that come with these bills allowing physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and certified midwives the ability to commit abortions that they have not been trained to do cannot be ignored. One would think that the Democratic party, who claims to be “pro-woman” and is promoting these bills in the name of “women’s health,” would want certified physicians with training to be the ones committing the abortion, but that is not the case. Instead, they treat abortion as if it were a minor procedure. State Senator Stephen Newman (R-Bedford) emphasized this when he pointed out how “there is no other procedure we deal with that ends the life of another person.” It is crucial that we remember that these procedures don’t just simply kill the baby—they can also be dangerous for the woman.
For pro-lifers, these bills amount to an egregious effort to repeal major pro-life laws on the books in Virginia which have saved countless lives. Delegate Margaret Ransone (R-Westmoreland) gave a powerful testimony in the House as she described the need for these pro-life laws and the dangers of repealing them. She pointed out that no matter what the circumstance is around the pregnancy, a woman seeking abortion deserves information about what will happen during an abortion. Abortions are incredibly traumatic procedures, and women deserve to be given access to as much information as possible about them.
Delegate Ransone described one abortion provider’s description of a chemical abortion, which read similarly to Planned Parenthood’s website. Planned Parenthood describes chemical abortions and how the woman will cramp and bleed tremendously and release “large clumps of tissue.” Not surprisingly, they fail to mention that these large clumps of tissue are actually the unborn child. Wouldn’t one think that a woman would want to be fully informed about a chemical abortion (which is in reality an in-home, do-it-yourself abortion) and the trauma that will come with it? Delegate Kathy Byron (R-Bedford) described House Bill 980 as being “so lax, so casual, that anyone, at any time, almost anywhere can have an abortion performed by just about anybody.” If pro-abortion Democrats in the Virginia General Assembly cared about “reproductive health,” then why do they support deregulating an industry that has hurt women?
Only one Democrat, Delegate Patrick Hope (D-Arlington), spoke on the House floor in favor of House Bill 980. Delegate Hope said that the issue was personal for him because he has three daughters, and he wants his daughters to be able to make their own reproductive health decisions—without all the information necessary to make that decision, apparently. He demanded that his colleagues support this legislation to roll back “medically unnecessary” restrictions on their health care. Delegate Hope apparently believes allowing women access to medical information regarding an abortion somehow “restricts” their health care. What was missing from his comments was any sort of awareness that his daughters, and women in Virginia, will not be able to make the best decision for themselves if they are not given the best possible information.
It is incredibly sad that the Virginia General Assembly decided to pass HB 980 and SB 733. Pro-abortion Democrats value the bottom line of the abortion industry over women’s health. Denying women the ability to access information regarding abortion doesn’t advance women’s health, it hurts it—and it will inevitably lead to more aborted children. It is important that Virginians wake up and see what is happening in their state. Democrats are doing the bidding of the abortion industry, which is further cheapening life and keeping women in the dark.