Senator Martin is running for Lieutenant Governor. He is currently the Chairman of the Education and Health Committee--the Senate Committee that hears all abortion-related legislation and determines whether or not to report it to the Senate floor for a recorded vote. The Committee is comprised of 8 Republicans (including Senator Martin) and 7 Democrats. While the 7 Democrats consistently vote against measures to protect life in the womb or restrict funding for abortion, one of the 8 Republicans is an uncertain swing vote. This means that we are never assured of the outcome of legislation that goes before the Committee, and that the hearings are tough--sometimes even vicious.
Last year, when I testified before the Ed & Health Committee in support of House Bill 1 (the quintessential "life begins at conception" bill), the hearing room was literally overflowing with people. Many of them were there for Planned Parenthood's "lobby day." Those who could not squeeze into the room waited in a queue outside for a turn to enter the fray. After the Committee surprised us by voting to report HB1 to the floor following a grueling debate, I was accosted by two Planned Parenthood supporters who hurled insults at me and assured me that if I had a daughter, someday she would be ashamed of what I had just done.
Senator Martin is not only charged with presiding over these heated, highly emotional debates; he also faces the pressures of a "moderate" Republican leadership in the Senate--a leadership that, unfortunately, does not share our convictions that the battle to protect human life must be waged whatever the political conditions. This is the leadership that teamed up with Senate Democrats to "recommit" HB1 right back to the Committee for "further consideration" (mere hours after its passage in the Committee) instead of allowing the Senate to vote on it.
Many of us were disappointed that Senator Martin chose not to call a special meeting of the Committee last fall to again report HB1, which would have then required the full Senate vote that could have made the bill law. Because he was not assured of the Republican swing vote on the Committee, Senator Martin chose not to incur the wrath of the party leaders by holding the hearing. But Senator Martin is not solely at fault, here. Unfortunately, the biggest "pro-life" organizations in Virginia chose not to encourage him to hold the hearing. I won't speculate as to their reasons.
Let's reach out to Senator Martin today.
Dear Senator Martin,
Thank you for consistently voting for measures that would restore the sanctity of human life in Virginia. I realize that you face fierce opposition in these efforts, even within your own party. I want to encourage you to stand firm against those who would cause you to "grow weary in doing good." It is important to me and my family that the laws of Virginia recognize that human life begins at conception, and that every human being—from conception until natural death—has basic human rights.
I am looking for a Lieutenant Governor who will not only "support" the cause of life, but who will lead it. I am praying specifically for you today, that God would give you great courage to work toward this end. Thank you.
Senator Martin's e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please take a moment to pray for Senator Martin.