Our hopes were not particularly high that HB1 would survive this Committee. In fact, we were convinced that it would be quite the miracle for that to happen after The Family Foundation had given its support to SB674, which many viewed (incorrectly) as an acceptable alternative.
But when the vote was taken, it was 8-7 to report the bill to the full Senate (a win!). That was incredible!
In the lobby, opponents chanted and waved their arms menacingly. At one point, one woman took a swing at Delegate Marshall and had to be restrained by the police. I was verbally accosted by two different women, separately. After several minutes, police gave the order to "clear the lobby." Opponents proceeded outside, where they lined the street with their signs, chanting, "My body--my choice!"
Just a few hours later, in a rare procedural move, the Senate leadership had expedited the bill to the Senate floor (where it was not expected until Monday). Senator Dick Saslaw, a Democrat from the Education and Health Committee, moved to send the bill BACK to the same Committee that had just passed it, for reconsideration in 2013. His motion was seconded by the Republican Majority Leader, Senator Tommy Norment.
I am hopeful that all those who care deeply about the sanctity of human life will coalesce around the few champions we have in the General Assembly, and that House Bill 1--broadly recognizing the unique, inherent value of every human life--will yet become the law of Virginia.