Energizing the Opposition in VA’s Culture War
The culture war battle is firmly in Virginia this month as bills regarding Personhood and mandating sonograms for all pregnant women seeking an abortion make their way through the Virginia General Assembly.
Northern Virginia has long sung a different political tune than the rest of the state, as longtime Del. Ken Plum (D-Reston) often points out. In Northern Virginia, Fairfax County is considered the center of liberal-leaning politics.
Its capital? That would be Reston, which Plum has represented consistently since 1982.
Plum met with citizens on Saturday at Reston Community Center Lake Anne. He held an informal community meeting to hear what was on constiuents’ minds.
They did not mince words.
“I want you to sue,” said one man, his voice breaking. “Mandating sonograms has got to be against the Constitution. They can’t bully people.”
The man was referring to House Bill 462, which passed the house 63-36 last week.
The bill requires every woman undergoing an abortion to first undergo an ultrasound. The bill says the woman must be given an opportunity to view the ultrasound image of her fetus before the abortion.
Under the bill, if the heartbeat cannot be detected, as is often the case early in a pregnancy, the woman would be subjected to a view with a transvaginal probe.
Says Plum: “I find the bill repulsive.”
The group also discussed HB1, which would grant individual rights to an embryo from the moment of conception. On Tuesday, the House of Delegates passed the measure on a 66-32 vote.
The bill provides that “unborn children” from the moment of conception until birth at every stage of biological development “enjoy all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of the Commonwealth, subject only to the laws and constitutions of Virginia and the United States, precedents of the United States Supreme Court, and provisions to the contrary in the statutes of the Commonwealth.”
No state has passed such a law. Since 2008, Republicans in Colorado and Mississippi have pushed for similar Personhood bills, but they failed.
HB 1, sponsored by Del. Bob Marshall (R-Manassas), now heads to the Senate.