Category Archives: Abortion

Impact of Supremes’ Roe v. Wade Ruling Way Overstated

Photo credit: Netblogpro

by Ken Reid

Should Governor Glenn Youngkin succeed in getting the Virginia General Assembly to curb abortion in Virginia from 25 weeks of pregnancy (at present) to 15, some 97% of abortions will still be protected, according to 2019 stats from the  Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

In addition, in six of the eight states which had pre-Roe v. Wade abortion bans, which have now become law again, an overwhelming majority of abortions will continue because abortion drugs (like Mifeprex – generic, mifepristone) –- cannot be outlawed. The only state with a trigger law where only 39% of abortions would continue is Missouri, based on data from the CDC.

In two states, Ohio and Texas, which have enacted restrictions after six weeks of pregnancy, CDC data indicates abortion through Mifeprex could conceivably cover 62% and 80% of abortions in those states, respectively.

About 54% of all abortions in 2019 were by abortion drugs, not surgery. Not all 1st trimester abortions can be done via drug, but the numbers are increasing and I will explain shortly why the states can do little about it.

I covered the drug and device industry for the trade press for 35 years, so I have some expertise here. Since the Supreme Court overturn of Roe was leaked in early May, I have written several articles, including a letter in The Washington Post,  about how this decision is really a wash for both sides – but these facts have not entered the news cycle or TV punditry. You can read one of these articles here.

Here are my arguments: Continue reading

Prosecutors Who Won’t Do Their Jobs

by Kerry Dougherty

Two local prosecutors just earned an A in both Fearmongering 101 and Grandstanding 101.

Ramon Fatehi of Norfolk and Stephanie Morales of Portsmouth used the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe V Wade to summon the press and draw attention to, well, themselves.

The duo pronounced themselves “horrified” that the highest court would allow states to pass their own abortion laws — let’s give them each an F in Federalism 101 — and used the court decision to declare that they would not prosecute abortion crimes if the General Assembly passes new laws.

“Prosecuting those cases is directly contrary to my responsibility to keep people here in Norfolk safe and alive and I simply will not — I won’t allow the Republicans’ extremist agenda to put blood on my hands,” Fatehi told The Virginian-Pilot. “I will not aid and abet their endangering of people who are pregnant and who seek to end their pregnancies.”

Love the way this woke prosector used the idiotic “people who are pregnant” descriptor when he could have said “women.” Guess he’s seeking the men-can-have-babies vote in the next election. And his mention of keeping Norfolkians “alive” is rich in irony, given the topic. Continue reading

Virginia Law, Abortion, Expectant Mothers and Medical Professionals

by James C. Sherlock

To clarify for those who misunderstand or knowingly misrepresent the statements of Republican leaders in the General Assembly concerning a new law on abortion, a woman aborting her unborn child is not proposed to be the subject of legal sanctions.

The targets in the mainstream Republican proposals being developed for a new abortion law will be the licenses of those performing the procedure.

Under current Virginia state law, abortion is legal in the first and second trimesters, or up to 26 weeks of pregnancy. It is allowed in the third trimester only if the woman’s life or mental or physical health is in danger.

Governor Youngkin told The Washington Post he would like the cutoff to be 15 or 20 weeks. He told the Post that he would support exceptions for rape, incest and when the mother’s life is in danger.

He has asked state senators Siobhan Dunnavant, R-Henrico, and Steve Newman, R-Forest, and delegates Kathy Byron, R-Lynchburg, and Margaret Ransone, R-Kinsale, to craft the legislation.

Dr. Siobhan Dunnavant, MD is an Obstetrics & Gynecology Specialist in Richmond. Senator Newman, R-Lynchburg, said in an interview with WTOP radio:

The state licensing process is most likely the best way to go about enforcement.

Indeed, it is the only politically viable way. Continue reading

Roe v Wade Is Gone

by Kerry Dougherty

I hate writing about abortion. Americans are not persuadable on the topic. Minds are made up.

But here is what I will say about Friday’s Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v Wade:

Any lawyer who understands the Constitution will privately admit that the 1973 decision was always on shaky ground. An over-reaching court — all men, by the way — grappled to find a Constitutional right to the procedure. So they invented one.

Even the left’s patron saint, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a strong supporter of abortion, once criticized the Roe ruling in a lecture she gave to New York University’s School of Law: Continue reading

Fairfax County and Protection of Supreme Court Justices Revisited

Courtesy of Fairfax County

by James C. Sherlock

In response to the adjacent exhortation by Fairfax County from its home page, I am speaking up.

Defend the homes of the Supreme Court Justices who live in your county.

I offer breaking news to many who only read and watch progressive media, including the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Justice Kavanaugh and his family were the targets of an assassination attempt at their home in Montgomery County early Wednesday morning.

Going out on a limb, that may portend a “gun tragedy” in Fairfax County. Though not solicited in the banner request, I also report that there may prove to be a person or persons holding such weapons.

I hope I have not gone too far.

Continue reading

Ideas Suffer the Casualty of Casualness

Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano

by Jim McCarthy

Skilled polemicists and rhetoricians (perhaps even unskilled) can present material in a seemingly unbiased way even while intentionally distorting it. A recent Bacon’s Rebellion article bemoaned the assertion of Fairfax County Commonwealth Attorney Steve Descano in a New York Times op-ed piece that he would “never prosecute a woman for having an abortion.” The blog item further placed in quotation marks, “no matter what the law in Virginia says.” Both quoted selections are, in fact, words from the op-ed.

We owe it to the iconic Paul Harvey to be on guard to hear the rest of the story.

The title of the original ep-ed column is, in itself, political pander, pure campaign bombast: “My Governor Can Pass Bad Abortion Laws, But I Won’t Enforce Them.” Any who accept that Virginia’s governor can pass an abortion law – good or bad – failed grade school civics. Don’t judge the content of an article by a headline that was likely written by the newspaper editor. As for the argument made by Descano, follow the Bacon’s Rebellion post’s hyperlink to the op-ed. There you will see the complete context of the statement:

…in Virginia today women who are suspected of terminating a pregnancy without the assistance of a certified medical professional can face felony charges if they miscarry.

So when the court’s draft decision overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked earlier this month, I committed to never prosecute a woman for making her own health care decisions. That means that no matter what the law in Virginia says, I will not prosecute a woman for having an abortion, or for being suspected of inducing one.

In context, the full and complete CA statement presents a different import of the matter than that communicated to Bacon’s Rebellion readers. Continue reading

Commonwealth Attorney Nullification

Steve Descano. Photo credit: WTOP

Steve Descano has written an op-ed piece in The New York Times. Should the U.S. Supreme Court roll back Roe vs. Wade, says the Fairfax County Commonwealth Attorney, he will never prosecute a woman for having an abortion — “no matter what the law in Virginia says.”

The CA provides several reasons for opposing blanket abortion laws, some of which I think are legitimate. He should use whatever political influence he has to ensure that draconian anti-abortion laws are never enacted in the Old Dominion.

But I do worry when elected prosecutors pick and choose the laws they enforce. Should the Commonwealth Attorney be allowed to nullify any law he dislikes for the one-in-eight Virginians who live in Fairfax County? If so, by what logic should not every Commonwealth Attorney be allowed the same prerogative? What if, to pick an equally controversial example, CAs in conservative rural counties refused to prosecute gun-control laws?

This is the path to anarchy.

— JAB

Abortion, Black Women, and the Thirteenth Amendment

by Paul Goldman

I write today to put the abortion debate in its proper Virginia political, social, and legal contexts.

The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution banned not only slavery but also “involuntary servitude.” “While the general spirit of the phrase ‘involuntary servitude’ is easily comprehended, the exact range of conditions it prohibits is harder to define,” declared the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Kozminski. The decision in United States v. Shackney said the ban on involuntary servitude “was to abolish all practices … having some of the incidents of slavery.” One of those practices, I will argue in this column, was depriving enslaved women the right to end unwanted pregnancies.

Given sympathetic comments by the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority to antiabortion efforts in recent litigation, the nation’s top constitutional scholars say the Court intends to use the Mississippi case argued earlier this year to give state legislature’s wide new latitude to restrict “the right to choose” established by Roe v Wade nearly fifty years ago. The intentions of Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin and his allies, including Democratic Senator Joe Morrissey, remain to be seen. But it is difficult to imagine that the publicly proclaimed foes of abortion will miss this opportunity.

I believe that Governor Ralph Northam and the White Boys Club now running the General Assembly have a moral obligation to call a Special Session to stop such an effort. Continue reading

Why Northam Is Such An Important Governor

By Peter Galuszka

This is a bit like throwing chum at a school of sharks, but here is my latest in Style Weekly.

I wrote an assessment of Gov. Ralph Northam that is overall, quite positive. My take goes against much of the sentiment of other contributors on this blog.

They are entitled to their views but, to be honest, I find some of the essays shrill and not really fact based. If Northam wants to delay elective surgeries at hospitals for a week or so, some want to empanel a grand jury.

An acute care health facility in Henrico County becomes one of the most notorious hot spots for coronavirus deaths and it is immediately Northam’s fault even though the care center has had serious problems that long predated the governor’s term in office.

He’s a trained physician who served as an Army doctor in combat during the Iraq War yet he is vilified as being incompetent and incapable of understanding the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s like the constant repetition of the “Sins of Hillary” on Breitbart and Fox News about emails and Benghazi.

Like him or not, Northam is bound to be one of the most consequential governors in Virginia history given the gigantic problem of the pandemic. He’s not a showboat salesman like Terry McAuliffe nor a smarmy, small-time crook like Robert F. McDonnell.

Anyway, here’s the piece.

End Parental Discrimination in Surrogacy Cases

by Jay Timmons

Residents in the Richmond area are represented by three Republicans in the state Senate with very different views of Life and Family. All three will be on the ballot Tuesday.

When it counted, Siobhan Dunnavant stood strong for children and the unborn. But sadly, Glen Sturtevant and Amanda Chase chose discrimination and bigotry over Life. Sturtevant and Chase acted as charlatans who sent a very clear message with their votes that our son did not even have the right to exist.

The bill, HB1979, which Dunnavant supported and Sturtevant and Chase callously voted against, is also known as “Jacob’s Law,” and was inspired by my son and the horrific four-year legal battle that my husband Rick and I endured in an out-of-state court. The bill was simple – eliminate discrimination in Virginia’s parental rights laws for children born through surrogacy so that all intended parents are treated equally. The bill brought laws on surrogacy in line with those that existed for adoption in Virginia. Most importantly, the bill – which is now law thanks to bipartisan support – means more frozen embryos can be rescued and saved from potential destruction. Continue reading

The Most Cost-Effective Anti-Poverty Program Known to Man: Contraception

Back to exploring “root causes” of poverty… This chart shows vividly how poverty is a demography-driven phenomenon. Poor people have more children than the not-poor do, and they have children at a younger age. The consequence of this “disparity” in fertility rates is that the percentage of children raised in poverty is vastly higher than the percentage of poor people in the population as a whole. Even as thousands of Virginians succeed in lifting themselves out of poverty, the reservoir of poor people is continually replenished. Continue reading

Now Everybody Has a Club on Abortion. Wonderful.

Watching the abortion issue being shoved into the coming Virginia elections by ideologues on both sides, it is fair to ask the question:  Can the center hold?  Are the many people who are fairly comfortable with the state of the law these last few decades going to be sorry with an outcome in either direction?

The point has been well-made that the debate over the less-restrictive third-trimester abortion rules, proposed in a failed bill during the 2019 General Assembly session, involved very few cases.  As reported by the Richmond Times-Dispatch long ago, under the current law third-trimester abortions are not happening here.  The bill in question might have changed that, but not much.  Continue reading

Unraveling the Ralph Northam Infanticide Controversy

Background. The past several weeks have been full of controversy for three of Virginia’s leading Democratic politicians – Ralph Northam, Justin Fairfax and Mark Herring. The local, state and national media have been focused on allegations of racism against Northam and Herring and sexual assault against Fairfax. However, prior to the media onslaught regarding racism and rape Governor Ralph Northam was embroiled in another controversy regarding comments he made during a radio show. During that radio interview Gov. Northam said some things that some people felt condoned, or even supported, infanticide. What did Ralph Northam say (in context) and did he really condone or support infanticide?

Continue reading

Herring Makes the Right Call

Mark Herring

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring supports abortion rights. He’s sympathetic to the intent behind a federal lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood challenging states restrictions on abortion. But he has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

“Many of the challenged laws are decades old, some of the challenged regulations are under active review, and plaintiffs make power arguments that certain other requirements warrant reconsideration by the Virginia General Assembly,” Herring’s motion states. “But a federal courtroom is not the proper venue for debating the wisdom of these policies.” (See the Washington Post coverage here.)

Kudos to Herring. Given his over-reach in other matters, I never expected such restraint. But he is absolutely right. The place to reform Virginia’s abortion laws is in the Virginia legislature, not in the federal courts. Herring deserves credit for taking an action that cannot be popular with his political base.

Is U.Va. Possessed by the Devil?

the exorcistBy Peter Galuszka

Over the past weeks there’s been plenty of blogging about Rolling Stone’s coverage of the University of Virginia and lots of comment by two conservatives who believe there is an evil “hook up” culture that involves casual sex and today’s loss of morality.

Well, I’ve been feeling sort of down recently (maybe post holiday-related), so to cheer myself up, I got an old paperback copy of William Peter Blatty’s “The Exorcist.”

Imagine what I found! The “hook-up” culture has been around for centuries and may involve possession by the Devil!

Consider this passage:

“The nuns at the convent at Lille. Possessed. In early-seventeenth-century France. They’d confessed to their exorcists that while helpless in the state of possession, they had regularly attended Satanic orgies; had regularly varied their erotic fare; Mondays and Tuesdays, heterosexual copulation; Thursdays, sodomy, fellatio and cunnilingus, with homosexual partners; Saturday, bestiality with domestic animals and dragons. And dragons! The Jesuit shook his head.”

So that might be the problem — and the solution — up in Charlottesville. I suggest we send busloads of Jesuit priests to do what is necessary.

Jim Bacon and Reed Fawell could ride in the first bus.