Pro-Woman, Pro-Life Ultrasound Law Signed by Governor McDonnell -- VSHL Applauds New Law!
Virginia Society for Human Life is very pleased that Governor Bob McDonnell has signed the protective, pro-life Ultrasound Bill into law. The women and unborn children of Virginia owe a debt of thanks to him and the General Assembly for supporting this pro-woman law.
In spite of an aggressive and deliberately deceitful public campaign waged by pro-abortion forces against passage of this bill, the members of the Virginia General Assembly did the right thing by passing this reasonable bill. The amendments added by Gov. McDonnell maintain the requirement for abortionists to perform an ultrasound before an abortion. The bill also gives women seeking an abortion the opportunity to view that ultrasound if they so wish.
“This is very good news for all Virginians, in particular mothers and their unborn children. The signing of this bill today shows that the Governor understands the need to support human life and to provide greater protection to the women by obtaining relevant and critical information before making the irreversible decision to abort their unborn child,"said Olivia L. Gans,President of Virginia Society for Human Life.
Virginia Society for Human Life (VSHL) is the oldest pro-life state-wide organization in the United States with chapters throughout the Commonwealth, celebrating 45 years of supporting life issues.
Virginia House of Delegates Passes House Bill 462 by vote of 61 to 35;
Ultrasound Bill heads to Governor's Desk
On March 1, 2012, the Virginia House of Delegates voted by a vote of 61yeas to 35 nays for passage of House Bill 462, the Ultrasound Bill, patroned by Delegate Kathy Byron, R-Bedford. This is the bill that was passed in the Virginia Senate on Tuesday this week.
This reasonable and protective bill ensures that women will have an ultrasound procedure performed before making a life and death decision about having an abortion.
Now the bill will go to Governor Bob McDonnell for his signature. The Governor has promised to sign the bill, which he has said is an important pro-life bill that can protect women and their unborn children by giving women greater access to much needed facts about their pregnancies.
“Virginia Society for Human Life is grateful that the majority of the members of both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly have supported the right of women to have access to this critical and relevant medical information about their own bodies and their unborn children before they make the irreversible decision for an abortion,” said Olivia Gans, President of VSHL.
The bill when it is signed into law by the Governor, will guarantee that women will undergo an ultrasound before abortion, thereby protecting them from unscrupulous abortionists who would otherwise keep vital information from the women of Virginia.
“Today’s vote is actually a victory for the women of Virginia, who have a right to be given all the relevant information before making this irreversible decision. This law respects the interests of women and their capacity to make life affirming decisions when they are given the facts.” said Olivia Gans.
Today, the Virginia Senate voted by a vote of 21 yeas to 19 nays for passage of House Bill 462, the Ultrasound Bill, patroned by Delegate Kathy Byron, R-Bedford. This reasonable and protective bill ensures that women will have an ultrasound procedure performed before making a life and death decision about having an abortion.
Before final adoption and presented to the Governor for his signature, the bill needs to be returned to the House of Delegates for final passage as amended by the Senate.
“Virginia Society for Human Life is grateful that the Senate supported the right of women to have access to this critical and relevant medical information about their own bodies and their unborn children before they make the irreversible decision for an abortion,” said Olivia Gans, President of VSHL.
VSHL is glad that there is still a requirement in the law passed that will guarantee that women will undergo an ultrasound before abortion, thereby protecting them from unscrupulous abortionists who would otherwise keep vital information from the women of Virginia.
Tragically, the result of the pro-abortion lies and distortions surrounding this bill meant that the facts were deliberately obscured, including the fact that 98% of abortion facilities routinely perform ultrasounds before performing an abortion, including the hotly debated trans-vaginal ultrasound, according to data from various studies and pro-abortion groups, themselves.
“The awful truth is that, in fact, the abortion procedure itself, which employs curette knifes, vacuum suction machines, and deadly drug cocktails designed solely to end her child’s life, and may also harm the mother, is far more invasive then any type of ultrasound technique to be used before an abortion,” said Olivia Gans.
Virginia Society for Human Life is the oldest pro-life state-wide organization in the nation with chapters throughout the Commonwealth.
Virginia Society for Human Life Supports Ultrasound Vote
Today the Virginia House of Delegates passed SB 484, the Ultrasound Bill, with Governor Bob McDonnell’s amendment which still protects a mother's right to view a real time ultrasound of her unborn child before making the irreversible, life and death decision of abortion.
“The Virginia Society for Human Life supports the right of women to see an ultrasound and hear her baby's heartbeat before undergoing the far more dangerous and invasive procedure of an abortion, the same procedure which is always a deadly one for her unborn child.” said Olivia L. Gans, VSHL President.
The amendment in question requires that a trans-abdominal ultrasound be performed by the abdominal method. While this amendment does not reflect the standard of practice of abortion in America where 98% of abortion facilities use the trans-vaginal method, it does still ensure that an ultrasound will be done before an abortion.
Pro-abortion forces manipulated the debate using scare tactics that did not accurately reflect the realities of the bill or the common practice of abortionists on this matter. It is the hope of VSHL that this bill will give women a greater degree of information and protection from unscrupulous abortionists.
Virginia Society for Human Life is the oldest pro-life organization in the nation with chapters throughout the Commonwealth.
Update on Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
The Virginia State Senate Health & Education Committee dead-locked 7-7 with one abstention on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This prevents the bill from coming to the Senate for a full vote.
However we still are very hopeful we can pass the legislation this year. The House version of the bill, HB 1285 is still in Committee and we believe, with enough grass-roots activity, will pass the House. Once HB 1285 passes the House of Delegates it will be sent over to the Senate for consideration. Once there it will go back to the Senate Health & Education Committee. If Sen. Harry Blevins (R-14) changes from abstaining to voting in favor of the bill it will then proceed to the Senate for a full vote.
VSHL has always known that passing this vital legislation would be very difficult. We are going to keep fighting for this legislation that will prevent the abortions of children capable of feeling.pain until it is enacted into law in Virginia. Expect to hear more from VSHL in the coming days and weeks on how you can help.
Below is a press release sent by VSHL after today's vote in the Senate Subcommittee.
Pro-Life Bill, Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, Failed by One Vote
in Senate Education and Health Committee
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was voted down today in the Senate Education and Health Committee of the Virginia General Assembly.
The vote was 7 in favor and 7 against, with one abstention. Senators Stephen Martin, R-11, Stephen Newman, R-23, Ralph Smith, R-19, Jeffrey McWaters, R-8, Richard Black, R-13, Charles Carrico, R-40, and Thomas Garrett, R- 22, voted in support of it. Senator Mark Obenshain, R-26, was the chief patron. Senators Black, Garrett, Smith, Stanley, as well as Frank Ruff, R-15 were co-patrons.
Senators Richard Saslaw, D-35, Louise Lucas, D-18, Janet Howell, D-32, Mamie Locke, D-32, George Barker, D-39, Ralph Northam, D-6, John Miller, D-1, voted against this important pro-life bill Senator Harry Blevins, R-14, was the one abstention on the vote, which effectively killed the bill in committee.
This protective bill, which highlights the capacity of unborn children to feel pain in the womb, would have prevented all abortions in the Commonwealth after the point at which during pregnancy there is substantial scientific evidence that pain is possible for these babies.
“It is unfortunate that by one vote, pain capable unborn children will continue to suffer the horrific death caused them by abortion,” said Olivia Gans, President of the Virginia Society for Human Life.
There is a House version of the bill as well, patroned by Del. Rich Anderson, R-51. It is the hope of Virginia Society for Human Life that the house bill will get a vote of support from both houses of the Virginia General Assembly.
Virginia Society for Human Life is the oldest pro-life organization in the nation with chapters throughout the Commonwealth.
The Virginia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act will get it's first hearing during the Sub-Committee meeting of the Courts of Justice on Wednesday afternoon. This life saving bill will prevent all abortions after the point at which science can prove that the unborn child is capable of feeling pain. Also, VSHL has just learned that the Senate version of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (PCUCPA), SB 637, will come before the full senate Health and Education Committee on Thursday morning, Feb. 2.
See below for a list of all members of the House Courts of Justice Subcommittee and Senate Health & Education Committee. If you live in the districts of any of these members of the House of Delegates or State Senate please contact their office today! Please ask your Delegate to support bill HB 1285 and your Senator to Support HB 637.
Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in Senate, House of Delegate Committees
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act has been assigned to the Senate Education and Health Committee and the House Courts of Justice Committee. Please check the list below and contact your Senator or Delegate if he/she s on one of these Committees and urge them to support and sign on as a co-Patron on this important legislation. The bill number in the Senate is SB 637 and in the House of Delegates it is HB 1285.
Click the link below to see the State Senators on the Health and Education Committee and Delegates on the Courts of Justice Committee along with their Capitol Phone Number, District Phone Number, and email address. If they have already agreed to be a co-Patron that is noted as well. If your Senator or Delegate is on the list, please contact them today. If you are not sure who your Senator or Delegate you can find out here on the VSHL website.
Recognizing that medical science demonstrates that certainly by 20 weeks after fertilization unborn children are capable of experiencing pain, the Act prevents abortions thereafter in the absence of a significant risk to the mother.
Do Unborn Children Really Experience Pain?
By twenty weeks after fertilization, all the physical structures necessary to experience pain have developed.
Download a PDF of this Fact Sheet from the National Right to Life Committee on Fetal Pain here:
In keeping with an over 20-year tradition, Louise Hartz, past president of the Virginia Society for Human Life (VSHL), distributed roses to the offices of Governor McDonnell, Lieutenant Governor Bolling, Attorney General Cuccinelli, and each member of the House of Delegates and State Senate. The roses commemorated the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade on January 22nd. Each rose was accompanied by a card identifying the donor as VSHL and a Pain of the Unborn Pamphlet.
Louise Hartz gives a rose to Senator Mark Obenshain (R-26th district) the sponsor of SB-637, Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act Introduced in the Virginia General Assembly
The Virginia Society for Human Life is pleased to announce today that the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act has been introduced into the Virginia General Assembly 2012 Session. The bill, which has been introduced in both Houses of the General Assembly, is a powerful new protective law that recognizes the humanity of unborn children from a unique perspective, their ability to feel pain in the womb.
In the Senate, Senator Mark Obenshain, R -26th district is the chief patron. In the House the bill’s chief patron is Delegate Rich Anderson, R- 51st district. The Senate bill is SB 637. The House version is HB 1285. Already there are several members on both sides of the aisle that have expressed support for this important pro-life bill, including Sen. Chuck Colgan, D – 29th district.
This important bill, developed for VSHL with the help of the National Right to Life Committee State Legislation team, would protect unborn children from abortion after the point during pregnancy at which it can be scientifically proven that the baby in the womb is capable of feeling pain. The Unborn Child Protection Act has already passed into law in 5 other states, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Idaho and Alabama. It is the hope of VSHL that the Commonwealth of Virginia will be the sixth state to pass this life saving law.
Now that the bill has been officially introduced we need to have as many VSHL members and supporters get involved to help ensure this bill passes into law.
You can get more information on the pain unborn babies may feel during an abortion at the VSHL Website.
We know that Planned Parenthood and their pro-abortion allies in the State Senate and House of Delegates will do everything they can to stop this legislation. So today is only the first step and VSHL needs your help to advance this bill.
Listen to remarks given by Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D., and Steven Zielinski, M.D., J.D., at the 2011 National Right to Life Convention. Mary Spaulding Balch, NRLC’s State Legislative Director, was instrumental in crafting legislation that protects unborn children from abortion after they are capable of feeling pain. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is now law in five states.
What does an unborn child feel during an abortion?
Download this Fact Sheet from the National Right to Life Committee to read about this important issue. This Fact Sheet explains in detail what is necessary for an unborn child to feel pain. For example, did you know that "Four or five weeks after conception, pain receptors appear around the mouth, followed by nerve fibers, which carry stimuli to the brain. By 18 weeks, pain receptors have appeared throughout the body. Around week 6, the unborn child first responds to touch."
Once you read this brochure I am sure you will want to share this information with your family and friends to help VSHL educate all Virginians about this vital issue.
Educating Virginians about the pain unborn children suffer during an abortion is just the beginning. The next step is to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act here in Virginia to stop these abortions. You can help make that happen by going to www.vshlpetition.org and signing our petition to the Virginia General Assembly to pass this legislation.