Contending for “Values” in VA General Assembly Top Legislative Priorities for 2013


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First Alert — For Faith, Family, and Freedom — Laws Matter

The church is the conscience of the nation, and the law is a civil guide to moral behavior for all of us — but especially for the unchurched, who have no other guide. (Rakazzi)

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With the Virginia General Assembly already nearing the end of its second week, we will provide periodic updates and action alerts on several pending “Values” bills, as follows:

1. Part I: Freedom of Conscience in Health Insurance Plans (HB 1314)

Each insurer offering coverage for contraception methods, sterilization procedures, or abortifacient drugs or devices shall also offer an identical plan that does not include such coverage. (Del. Bob Marshall)

2. Part II: Freedom of Conscience in Health Insurance Plans (HB 1315)

No health care policy or plan shall provide coverage for contraception methods, sterilization procedures, or abortifacient drugs or devices except by request of the subscriber, nor is any self-insured employer required to provide such coverage. (Del. Bob Marshall)

3. Part III: Freedom of Conscience in Health Insurance Plans (HB 1417)

 No health insurance plan offered by the Commonwealth or any locality shall be required to include coverage for contraception methods, sterilization procedures, or abortifacient drugs or devices. (Del. Bob Marshall)

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4. Conscience Protection for College Student Groups (SB 1074):

Prohibits public colleges and universities from discriminating against student groups’ ability to select leadership based on religious, political, or philosophical beliefs. (Sen. Mark Obenshain)

5. Public Prayer and Religious Liberty Constitutional Amendment (SJ 287)

Protects right to worship and pray in private and public settings on government premises, public property, and in all public schools. (Sen. Bill Stanley)

6. Home School Participation in Public School Sports (HB 1442 and SB 792):

Allows home-school students to try out for and participate in public school sports programs (“Tebow Bill”) (Del. Rob Bell and Sen. Tom Garrett)

7. Right to Work Constitutional Amendment (HJ 536 and SJ 293):

Prohibits employers and/or labor unions from denying employment to non-union members and also prohibits labor organizations from requiring such membership as a condition of employment. (Del. Dickie Bell and Sen. Dick Black)

8. No Sex for Bail(HB 2294): 

Makes bail bondsmen who have sex with defendants in return for bail bond services guilty of a Class 6 felony. (Del. Tony Wilt)

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Defending Past Victories:

Thankfully, the Senate Education and Health Committee has already rejected aggressive efforts by the pro-abortion lobby to reverse past pro-life victories, including

  1. the “informed consent” right of a mother to view an ultrasound of her child prior to having an abortion, and
  2. improved abortion clinic regulations that are consistent with those of other out-patient clinics. Eternal vigilance is the price of life and of liberty.

Stay Tuned!

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views the Virginia Christian Alliance

About the Author

Dean Welty
Dean Welty is Founder and Director of the Valley Family Forum, a network of families in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia that works to defend and advance issues of Life, Faith, Family, and Freedom in the culture and in the public square. He has developed and led numerous seminars on “America’s Godly Heritage” and “Capstone: The Christian’s Role in Culture and Public Policy”, hosted a weekly television program entitled “Valley Faith in Action”, and is co-host of a weekly radio program entitled “Crossroads: Where Faith and Culture Meet”. He is a former public school teacher, overseas missionary, and senior diplomat with assignments in Asia, Washington, New York with the U.S. Mission to the UN, and as a Congressional Fellow on Capitol Hill. Dean and his wife Janet live in Harrisonburg, VA.