Conservatives Draw Line In Sand In Support of Pain Capable Act (HB 1473)

Few things unite the Virginia blogosphere like pro-life legislation.

Yesterday’s news that the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (HB 1473) would make its way to the Virginia House of Delegates was welcome news indeed, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

The law allows for an exception if the life of the mother is at risk, or if there is “serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.

Violation of the law would be considered a Class 4 felony. The bill also provides for “civil remedies” against physicians should they perform abortions in violation of the act.

Punish the pushers — good.

Of course, Governor Terry McAuliffe has done just about everything in his power to prevent new safety regulations that bring the standards of abortion clinics up to the medical standards of modern dentistry.  So much for protecting the life and safety of the mother… but let’s face it, the abortion industry isn’t about safety.

It’s about money.

This morning’s The Bull Elephant — whose editorial line has been consistently ambivalent on life — was a surprising and refreshing change, courtesy of Steven Brodie Tucker.  In short, Tucker draws a clear line in the sand on HB 1473:

I would like this to be clear, for all Republicans in elected-office. Your response to this legislation will not be ignored. If you support it, we will be here to support, praise, and raise awareness for you. If you oppose it or are silent about it, we will be here to flag you to the public as advocates for the abortion industry.

Tucker isn’t alone in this, as the Virginia Family Foundation, the Virginia Freedom Caucus, and others are actively watching and supporting this bill.

The idea of a “20 week ban” may shock folks.  For those who are surprised to find out that abortions are indeed legal well beyond the first trimester, it may come as a surprise to discover that here in the United States we have an open season on babies that is far beyond what the European-style restrictions over there are on the abortion industry.

On the other half of the equation?  Personhood supporters may be reticent to come out full bore for this bill, as it perhaps meets the definition of “incrementalist” legislation (i.e. any legislation that creates bumper rails that ends in “…and then you can kill the baby” is morally impermissible).

Granted, this bill does precisely this — but personhood supporters should take heart.  The partial birth abortion ban brought to the forefront the grisly procedure that is an abortion in a way the previous arguments had not.  Caging the abortion industry to focus on safety standards, the life of the mother, pro-family approaches to abortion only undermine all of the abortion industry’s claim to compassion, choice, and “safe, legal, and rare.”  If a 20-week delimiter does anything, it emphasizes the arbitrary transition line from life-worthy-of-life to life-unworthy-of-life.

Besides, if you want to know whether or not 20-week bans on abortion are a moral good?  Check out the reaction in Texas when European-style regulations were passed there:

Folks, I’ve been around in politics since I was a teenager.  If there was anything that sounded like a reaction from the pit of Hell — this is it.

The abortion industry at prayer, folks.  Inside their temple, praying for the $550 million in  federal and state taxpayer dollars used to fuel their industry and target conservatives with $38 million for electoral defeat.

Of course, we all know what happens next.  House and Senate Republican leadership will nod supinely, send HB 1473 to subcommittee… and let it go PBI (passed by indefinitely).

Not this time.

Conservatives have a moral duty to demand that HB 1473 go to the floor of both the House and the Senate during the 2017 session — no excuses.

If it does not go to the floor?  PRIMARY THEM.

If it does go to the floor, give the bill a full vote and put it on the governor’s desk for signature.  Will McAuliffe veto the bill?  Probably.  Will HB 1473 become an issue in the gubernatorial race that most Republican leadership would rather not discuss?  Maybe…

…but is this a fight worth fighting?  The argument is simple: every human being has the basic right to exist.  No amount of social justice or government programs, no amount of job creation or education reform is worth a damn unless we defend and define the right to exist for every Virginian.

Frankly, I’m glad to see a piece of legislation finally galvanize the Republican Party in Virginia.  Candidates for statewide office should take note — we’re looking for a champion here.  Do this… and capture the hearts and minds of Virginia’s conservative movement at a stroke.

This article was crossposted at The Jeffersoniad.

  • David Obermark

    I think I could support this bill, however I am not in favor of everything else Shaun argues for.

    By about the 22nd week, the fetus possesses a mind (a soul). When the fetus possesses a mind, it is a person, and the rights’ of that person needs to be considered in the woman’s right to choose.

    But I do not support Shaun’s argument for making it more difficult for women to exercise their right to choose prior to another person being involved. The “health standards” being sought to be imposed on clinics are not about concern for the health of the woman, only attempts to make it more difficult for a woman to choose to have a legal abortion.

  • Turbocohen

    Boom. No exceptions for any elected or wanna be elected.

  • MD Russ


    I know that you have very strong feelings about abortion and as a fellow Roman Catholic I respect them. But this is an abomination for conservatives and Republicans. The right to abortion is the law of the land and has been for over 40 years since Roe v. Wade. These nuisance laws that attempt to throw up roadblocks and speed bumps to what is an ethical medical procedure are a disservice to the Republican Creed. Just how do such intrusive and anti-personal responsibility legislative actions support Republicanism? I can see no daylight between anti-abortion laws and gun control or wealth redistribution. If you are opposed to abortion, then don’t have one. But don’t create a government presence that invades the privacy and personal decisions of free citizens. That is what liberal Democrats do.

    Such hypocrisy is one of the reasons that I left the Republican Party and became an Independent. And it is why so many Republican candidates have lost my support over the years. There is no room in a representative democracy for single-issue candidates or for political litmus tests.

    • David Obermark

      There is scientific evidence that at about the 22nd week, the fetus has developed a mind. When it possesses a mind it is a person.

      I support a woman’s right to choose up to this point (because no other “person” is harmed prior), however after this point I think it is appropriate that special consideration is given to the 2nd person now involved in the the decision being reached.

      I will note that the vast majority of abortions occur in the first trimester, so none of these would be prevented by this law. I also understand that at times there are occasions where an abortion might be the appropriate choice to be made after this point. However the pro-choice group are uncompromising so reasonable legislation that protects the life of the newly formed “person” is OK with me.

      • MD Russ

        Thank you, Doctor. I had no idea that you were trained as a prenatal neurologist and bioethicist.

        Keep on truckin’.

        • David Obermark

          You have an opinion on this issue too? What qualifies you to express your opinion by your own standards?

          My opinion is based on a scientific study and the opinions of experts in the field.

          • MD Russ

            My opinion is based on an undergraduate degree in political science as well as a masters degree. Do you have a medical degree?

          • David Obermark

            So you do not have a medical degree? What qualification do you have to express an opinion on this subject by your standards?

            If you are qualified, so am I.

          • MD Russ

            My comment, David, was based on the political science and Constitutional history involved in attempts to thwart the First Amendment right to abortion. I meet the educational standards to make those observations. Your comment was based not on your education or experience but on some crap that you read and chose to accept as fact. My comment was based on seven years of undergrad and post-graduate study. Your comment was based on an 8th grade reading comprehension ability. Big difference.

            Now go away. You are not worth debating.

          • David Obermark

            Oh, so your’s is bigger then mine.

            I should not rely on the opinion of those with doctorates because you have a masters and know better.

            You are all too willing to point to your diploma to prove you are right. What happens when somebody with a better diploma says something you disagree with?

            By your own standards you must remain silent.

          • notjohnsmosby

            Your opinion is a religious one. Not a medical one. I think that was Russ’s point.

          • David Obermark

            You are incorrect. I was pointing to the science behind this argument. You are too quick to categorize those who disagree with you into slots.

            If fellow A disagrees with me, he should immediately be placed into slot B because he disagrees.

            You will not first look at the argument being made before you first throw them into slots. In my case, the argument was based upon science and I did not introduce religion into the argument other then to speak in words that might be acceptable to the religious that motivates them to accept science.

          • notjohnsmosby

            “By about the 22nd week, the fetus possesses a mind (a soul)”

            This is a religious belief, not a medical fact.

          • David Obermark

            Ok, because I included “a soul” in parenthesis you have a point. But the the rest of it, when the fetus possesses a mind, is a statement of scientific fact.

  • Chad Davis

    We probably need to hope that the GOP nominee for governor wins in November 2017 for eventual passage in 2018.

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