After the 2019 November election, Victoria Cobb sounded the alarm for pro-life, pro-family Virginians. She wrote, “For the first time in two decades, pro-abortion Democrats seized control of both the House of Delegates (55-45) and the Senate (21-19).”
The state already had radically pro-abortion Governor Ralph Northam at its helm. He sparked outrage with his January 2019 statement defending a bill that would legalize abortion at any point during pregnancy. During an interview, Northam essentially argued for infanticide for babies with special needs by denying them medical treatment after birth. The November election gave pro-abortion activists full control of the state government.
In a blog about the election results, “Our Take on Virginia’s Election,” Cobb warned about what she saw coming in 2020, “We fully expect the Left to pursue a robust legislative agenda that will include passing the “ERA”, elevating “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to a specially protected class in every part of society, rolling back informed consent and safety standards for abortion clinics, and even [legalizing] doctor-assisted suicide.”
Cobb heads up The Family Foundation (TFF), a Focus on the Family affiliated group. She and her staff work to promote state legislation that protects the preborn; strengthens marriages between a husband and wife; fosters religious freedom; supports parental authority and upholds the Constitution.
Sadly, much of what Cobb envisioned is taking place at the Virginia Capitol in Richmond, as legislation was introduced along the lines she forecast. The group continues to call constituents to action about legislation of concern. Here is some legislation they’ve spotlighted in recent weeks:
- Two abortion bills, HB 980 and SB 733, would “roll back decades of pro-life achievements” in Virginia. According to TFF, they do so by “1) undoing the long-standing physician-only rule by allowing physician’s assistants, nurse practitioners and even certified nurse midwives to perform abortions; 2) eliminating informed consent, including the requirement to offer a woman the opportunity to see her ultrasound and hear the fetal heartbeat before performing an abortion; 3) removing the 24-hour wait period between the ultrasound and abortion so no woman is rushed into an on-the-spot decision; and 4) eliminating all the health and safety regulations of abortion centers.”
- HB 1663 and SB 868 would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the state’s nondiscrimination laws. TFF argues that this legislation threatens religious freedom because it “creates a direct conflict with people of faith (typically Christians) who hold to a Biblical and historical view of marriage, sexuality, and human nature – including churches, private schools, and non-profit ministries.” The bills carry a penalty of $50,000 for a first offense and fines of $100,000 for subsequent offenses.
- Education bills “HB 145 and SB 161 require the Department of Education to develop model polices concerning the treatment of transgender students in elementary and secondary schools.” TFF says “these policies will ultimately require students and teachers to be allowed to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of the opposite sex, allow biological males to compete on all-female sports teams, and compel students and teachers to speak another’s preferred pronouns against their conscience, which they could simply change from one day to the next.”
Still, Cobb and TFF remain committed and determined to defend “family values and the sanctity of life.” The organization continues to call constituents to action and has even managed to postpone or defeat some damaging legislation. As the Virginia legislature passed the halfway point of its session, TFF’s partner organization, The Family Foundation Action, released a mid-term report grading legislators on their votes regarding religious freedom issues.
Even after last November’s disappointing left-turn for Virginia, Cobb remains hopeful. She said: “All the work we put into defending family values and the sanctity of life during this election will not return void. I believe that wholeheartedly!”
She also encouraged people to pray for the state and its government leaders, “that they will carry out their duties in accordance with the Constitution, but most importantly underneath the divine authority of God, to whom they are always and ultimately accountable.”
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