Following the recent conclusion of the Virginia General Assembly’s regular legislative session last week, Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) announced that he had signed more than 100 new bills into law.
However, there was one bill in particular drawing attention that didn’t get passed due to extraordinary Democratic opposition, one that would have protected babies born alive after an abortion procedure, The Federalist reported.
The Democratic majority in Virginia’s Senate initially attempted to “pocket” the bill and not even allow any discussion of it, but after Republicans forced their hand, ultimately assigned it to a particular committee dominated by Democrats to have the measure killed before reaching the floor.
If the abortion industry opposes something, then Democrats will also oppose it
Dubbed the “Born Alive” bill, HB 304 would have required abortion providers to make all “reasonable” efforts to extend and preserve the life of an infant that survived an attempted abortion and immediately transport the baby to a hospital for additional medical care, or else be charged with a felony and subject to other disciplinary measures.
That bill, introduced in the Republican-controlled House by Del. Nick Freitas (R), was passed by the House in mid-February and sent to the Democrat-controlled Senate for consideration, but that is where the bill died, albeit after some unusual gamesmanship by Democratic leaders.
Freitas told The Federalist of his killed bill, “This should not be controversial, but the abortion industry opposes it, and therefore the Democratic Party opposes it.”
Unusual efforts were undertaken to kill the pro-life bill
The Virginia Star reported in early March on exactly how everything had gone down concerning the bill in the Senate, which had initially been properly assigned to the Senate Education and Health Committee, only to then be “pocketed” in an exceptionally rare move and removed from the docket of bills under consideration.
Senate Republicans objected and furious behind-the-scenes arguments and debates were reportedly held between members during a brief recess, and it appeared that some Democrats were willing to support, or at least hold a vote, Freitas’ “Born Alive” bill.
However, Committee chair Louise Lucas (D) ultimately reassigned the bill in question to the Senate Rules Committee, which is heavily stacked in favor of Democrats, 13-4, where quite predictably the bill was killed by the Democratic majority.
Virginia Democrats beholden to the abortion industry
The president of the Virginia Society for Human Life, Olivia Gans-Turner, told The Federalist that the obvious fear of the Virginia Senate’s Democratic majority toward pro-life bills was “fascinating” even as she noted that there had initially been “hope” that this bill would pass since it didn’t stop any abortions from occurring.
“Members of the Democrats in Virginia have such a commitment to the abortion industry, who gives them money every year, they might actually support infanticide,” she said. Gans-Turner also pointed out how outside of the norm the attempt to simply “pocket” the bill had been, since “There are certain traditions in Virginia’s Senate and one of them is that every bill gets a hearing. Pocketing a bill is almost never done.”
“I was shocked that the Senate tried to ‘pocket veto’ the bill by simply taking it off the docket,” Freitas said of what occurred with his bill. “Then they sent it to a heavily stacked committee where they knew it would die. … Democratic leadership in the Senate tried to kill it without even giving people a chance to testify.”