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Special election update

by | Jan 16, 2023

By Virginia Society for Human Life (VSHL)

Sarah Dunford with VSHL President Olivia Gans Turner and Senator Newman , the Senate Sponsor of Gov. Youngkin’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

Sadly, only one pro-life candidate won Virginia’s special election:  Ellen Campbell in the 24th House of Delegates District. That win means the pro-life count in the House of Delegates stays the same, since she was running to replace her pro-life husband, Ronnie Campbell, who passed away last month.

Kevin Adams’s extremely close loss (50.41% to 49.50%) in the 7th Senate District means, tragically, that there is now a solid pro-abortion majority in the State Senate.  This race was to fill the seat of pro-life Senator Jen Kiggans, who was elected to Congress in November.

Monique Baroudi courageously ran a good race in a staunchly pro-abortion area of Northern Virginia.  The seat, in the 35th District, was previously held by pro-abortion Delegate Mark Keam (who resigned to take a job in the Biden administration). So while we are disappointed by her loss, it does not change the balance in the House of Delegates. 

In both the 7th Senate District and 35th Delegate District races, pro-abortion groups poured enormous amounts of money into the race to defeat the pro-life candidates.  

Governor Youngkin’s bill to protect unborn child who can feel pain formally introduced 

True to his word Governor Glen Youngkin presented the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to the General Assembly last week, on the opening day of the 2023 Session. It is being carried  by Del Kathy Byron, R-22,  in the House of Delegates and Senator Stephen Newman, R-23,  in the Virginia Senate. 

Action Item:  Use the VSHL Legislative Action Center to Send a Message to your Delegate and State Senator to Support the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Action

Right-to-Abortion Amendment to the Virginia Constitution Introduced

In the wake of the Dobbs v. Jackson decision overturning Roe, several states, Virginia being one of those states, pro-abortion representatives are at work to permanently  legalize abortion up to the moment of birth as well as also trying to insulate abortion providers from any regulation of their deadly activity. 

President of the Virginia Senate, Sen. Louise Lucas has vowed to defeat any pro-life bill that comes to the General Assembly this session.  She has plenty of support from the pro-abortion majority in the Senate.

After the results of the election that came in on Tuesday night, pro-abortion forces at the General Assembly decided to introduce a bill to add a “Right to Abortion” amendment to Virginia’s Constitution.  

Now they do actually  have the votes to pass such an amendment out of the State Senate.  Pro-lifers are still in control of the  House of Delegates but this issue will certainly be used throughout the session to put pressure on pro-life members before the elections in November 2023. 

It is vital pro-lifers spread the word and speak out against this extreme Amendment.  VSHL is going to be very active in educating Virginians on the dangers of this radical amendment.  If pro-abortion forces take over the House of Delegates and keep the State Senate after the 2023 elections, their first priority will be to pass this Right-to-Abortion Amendment.  Expect to hear more from VSHL on this important against this extreme proposal soon.

You can start to fight this Amendment by signing VSHL’s Petition to Stop the Right-to-Abortion Amendment today!

[https://vshl.org/sign-the-petition-to-stop-the-right-to-abortion-amendment-to-the-virginia-constitution?source_code=1-14-23email’

Join us for Defending Life Day

On February 1st, 2023,  VSHL is inviting all pro-life Virginians to come to Richmond to advocate with their members as part of this year’s Virginia pro-life day activities. Defending Life Day events begin in the morning followed by the Virginia March for Life in the afternoon. This is a vitally important event in this complicated climate after the demise of Roe v. Wade.  Go to www.vaprolifeday.org to sign up.

Despite the obvious obstacle course of a Senate controlled by Pro-Abortion Members, several pro-life members of the Senate and House of Delegates are carrying strong protective bills, including a new “Women’s Right to Know” Informed Consent Bill, A bill to protect babies who have been diagnosed with a disability and a bill to create a public awareness campaign that will provide mothers with information about Virginia extensive network of pregnancy resource centers.  

Along with the Governor’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, Del. Nick Frietas, R-30,  has once again introduced a Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection bill which was the cause of high tension and manipulation by pro-abortion members of the  Senate during the 2022 session.  Both bills are powerful concepts that deserve a proper debate.  It will be up to pro-life Virginians to demand that that happens.

At the same time, we need to make sure Members of the General Assembly know we oppose pro-abortion legislation like the Right-to-Abortion Amendment too.

Come join us to have an outpouring of support from pro-lifers from around Virginia for these important events.

Visiting the General Assembly and Meeting the Governor 

The following are observations from Mrs. Sarah Dunford, VSHL’s new director of special projects: 

“Yesterday I had the privilege of visiting the Virginia Capitol where the General Assembly session was under way for 2023. As someone coming out of the pregnancy resource center culture of the prolife movement, a culture that tends to shy away from the politics to meet the needs of the woman. 

“It can be such an intimidating experience to walk the halls with the people that are supposed to represent us and that can and do touch our lives with the laws they enact. I wasn’t sure what to expect but what a pleasure to participate in and see the president of VSHL, Olivia Gans Turner, talk with delegates and meet with like-minded people using the pen to impact mothers, protect the unborn, and fight for good. 

Coming from a grass-roots perspective where you meet face to face with those women in need, it was heart-warming and encouraging to finally see those who have supported the grassroots effort and fought on our behalf at work. As someone who has met face to face with women in need and who has now met face to face with our representation, it matters. As intimidating as it was exciting, I look forward to being back down in Richmond with VSHL’s supporters on Defending Life Day and with any luck, I will see you there.”   

Sarah Dunford with VSHL President Olivia Gans Turner and Senator Newman , the Senate Sponsor of Gov. Youngkin’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

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