My reflections and musings on the struggle to leave a Christ-shaped impression on the world of law and public policy.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Problem

I recently learned that Senator Bill Stanley, on the last possible day, filed Senate Bill 674. If it goes forward, SB 674 has the potential to doom our chances of getting HB1 passed.

Stanley's bill creates a civil cause of action for the wrongful death of a "fetus" by simply adding this term to the existing wrongful death law. Recall that the only immediate, practical effect of House Bill 1 is to allow parents to sue for the wrongful death of their unborn baby--but House Bill 1 creates this cause of action by explicitly recognizing that life begins at conception and that unborn children are human beings generally under Virginia law. With this critical language, House Bill 1 creates a strong foundation for future pro-life efforts that go far beyond creating a civil lawsuit. That language, of course, is the real philosophical impetus behind House Bill 1, the reason it is being attacked by the abortion lobby, and the reason it enjoys such galvanized support from the entire pro-life community in Virginia.

Last night I e-mailed Stanley and explained to him that his bill threatens to completely undermine our well-planned, hard-fought efforts at laying this important pro-life foundation in Virginia law. Many moderate Republican legislators who would otherwise support House Bill 1 are likely to choose SB 674 as a more “moderate” alternative. I asked Stanley to withdraw SB 674.

Senator Stanley professes to be a pro-life conservative, so I am hopeful that he will quickly understand that his new bill is BAD for the pro-life cause and agree to withdraw it. If so, we can join forces to effect the wrongful death cause of action AND a strongly pro-life Virginia Code that recognizes the basic humanity of the unborn generally.

And if he refuses? Please stand by, because in that case I will be calling upon each of you to contact Stanley's office and repeat my request that he withdraw the bill. It's time to move beyond "moderate" legislation and recognize, without flinching, the humanity of children in the womb.

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